Successful campaigns take lots of money. The candidate with the most money does not always win (several self-funded millionaires readily come to mind), but a candidate who cannot raise substantial sums of money cannot win. Period.
So let’s take a look at who is winning the “money race” so far in Arizona’s congressional and senate races, as of June 30 from the FEC candidate finance portal.
Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran is comfortably ahead in the money race in his district, with a substantial cash reserve for the general election. Rep. O’Halleran should be able to defend his seat this November.
Incumbent Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally is running for the Senate. Former Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, who previously represented District 1, is the Democratic Party’s “anointed” candidate for this open seat. She has attracted party insider money as a result. Dr. Matt Heinz, who previously was the Democratic candidate in CD 2, nevertheless is raising enough money to be competitive with the likely Republican Party nominee, Lea Marquez Peterson. If Heinz manages to win over Kirkpatrick the Democratic primary, the Democratic Party money will gravitate to him because CD 2 is a competitive seat and a likely Democratic Party pickup this November. The Democratic Party really wants this seat back and will spend whatever it takes to win.
Democratic incumbent Raúl Grijalva never raises a lot of money, mostly because he never has to in this “safe” Democratic district. Rep. Grijalva is easily winning the money race on his way to another reelection.
Republican incumbent Paul Gosar, Arizona’s most embarrassing congressman for whom even The Arizona Republic fka The Arizona Republican pleaded with voters in an editorial opinion earlier this year, Our View: Rep. Paul Gosar is a disgrace to Arizona. Somebody please unseat him, nevertheless is enjoying the power of incumbency in the money race. Democrats and Republicans alike will need to dramatically step up their financial contributions and volunteer boots on the ground for the eventual Democratic Party nominee in order to unseat this disgrace of a congressman from office.
Republican incumbent Andy Biggs, who parlayed winning $10 million from Publisher’s Clearinghouse a couple of decades ago into a political career, is Arizona’s next most embarrassing congressman. Biggs can self-fund if he has to, but he apparently doesn’t have to, because he is well ahead in the money race.
Republican incumbent David Schweikert is also enjoying the power of incumbency, and is far ahead in the money race. What more is there to say?
Democratic incumbent Ruben Gallego, a rising star in the Democratic Party, is facing only a primary challenger from a blood feud rival, Catherine Miranda, who appears to have badly miscalculated. Rep. Gallego is crushing it in the money race. Rep. Gallego can aid other Democratic candidates after the primary.
Republican “incumbent” Debbie Lesko won a special election earlier this year by a narrow margin over Democrat Hiral Tipirneni, who substantially over-performed in the special election in this previously “safe” GOP district. Lesko has since drawn a Republican primary opponent, while Tipirneni has been free to build cash reserves for November, and is leading the money race. If Democrats continue to over-perform nationally as they have done all year, a “blue wave” election could produce another Democratic Party pickup this November in CD 8. Give generously of your time and money to Hiral Tipirneni, and let’s make this happen!
Note: Republican Sandra Dowling had not filed an FEC report by June 30, 2018.
Incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is running for the Senate. CD 9 is a competitive seat which nevertheless has trended Democratic. Former Phoenix mayor Greg Stanton is the Democratic candidate for this open seat, and he is currently leading in the money race. As Democrats continue to over-perform nationally, a “blue wave” election should assure that Stanton is able to hold onto this Democratic seat.
Democratic Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is leading Republican Congresswoman Martha McSally in the money race. McSally, however, has and will be the beneficiary of copious amounts of “dark money” spending by outside conservative groups desperately trying to retain this Arizona Senate seat for the GOP. This may be one of the most competitive, and one of the ugliest Senate races in the country this fall. Rep. Sinema has one of the rare opportunities this election cycle for a Democrat to pick up a Senate seat. Whatever you may think about Rep. Sinema, the die is cast and this is a must-win election. I can’t bear the thought of six more years of Martha McSally. Let’s send her packing!