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Senate candidate Mark Kelly raises $4M in first quarter, campaign says

PHOENIX – Mark Kelly collected $4 million in the first fundraising quarter of his U.S. Senate bid, the former astronaut’s campaign announced Wednesday.

Kelly is the only Democratic candidate officially in the race to unseat Arizona Republican Martha McSally in 2020.

The husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords received more than 58,000 contributions since declaring his candidacy Feb. 12, according to his campaign.

The average online contribution was $25, and 96% percent of contributions were for $100 or less.

“We’re proud of the cactus roots campaign we are building with contributions from each of the fifteen counties in Arizona and without a dime from corporate PACs,” campaign manager Jen Cox said in a press release.

About $1.1 million of Kelly’s total was donated in the 48 hours following the release of a 4½-minute video announcing his run.

He released a new video Wednesday featuring footage from his campaign.

McSally, a former Air Force pilot, filed her intent to run for reelection on March 6 and has yet to make any fundraising totals public.

Per Federal Election Commission records, she had a little under $1 million remaining from her failed 2018 Senate race for the seat vacated by Republican Jeff Flake, who didn’t seek reelection. McSally spent more than $20 million on that bid, but lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.

In December, McSally was appointed by Gov. Doug Ducey to the seat formerly held by the late John McCain, who died in August 2018, and temporary fill-in Jon Kyl.

Kelly, a former Navy pilot, has never run for office before. He’s been an active gun control advocate since Giffords was nearly killed in a mass shooting.

It appears he won’t face a major challenge for the Democratic nomination after U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego recently decided against joining the race.

The 2020 winner will serve out the remainder of McCain’s term and face another election in 2022.

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