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Democrat Tipirneni piling up much more cash than Rep. Schweikert

Rep. David Schweikert and Dr. Hiral Tipirneni (Facebook Photo/David Schweikert and hiralforcongress.com Photo)

PHOENIX – In what could be the most hotly contested 2020 U.S. House race in Arizona, Democratic candidate Dr. Hiral Tipirneni is amassing far more cash than Republican Rep. David Schweikert in District 6.

According to third-quarter Federal Election Commission reports, Tipirneni has a $603,496.25 war chest, exceeding the incumbent’s $143,828.33 bankroll by more than four times.

Tipirneni received $332,991.67 in donations last quarter to push her yearly total to $773,040.26.

Schweikert hasn’t been far behind the emergency medicine physician in overall fundraising, but he’s been burning through cash at a much higher rate, including hundreds of thousands on legal fees.

In fact, his campaign spent more than it took in from July through September.

Schweikert has raised $621,904.61 this year in his bid for a sixth term in Congress. He took in $136,225.75 in the third quarter while spending $162,111.60.

As of Thursday afternoon, the FEC website wasn’t updated with Schweikert’s itemized third-quarter expenses, so was unknown what he’s been spending on since June.

But through the first two quarters of 2019, his campaign made payments totaling more than $228,000 to Washington law firm Holtzman Vogel Josefiak Torchinsky, which specializes in FEC, government ethics and lobbying compliance.

For more than a year, the Fountain Hills Republican and his former chief of staff have been the subjects of a House Ethics Committee investigation.

Allegations that Schweikert misused funds and received illegal campaign contributions from longtime chief of staff Oliver Schwab were presented to the Ethics Committee in April 2018. Schwab resigned three months later.

Schweikert has denied any wrongdoing and dismissed any discrepancies as bookkeeping errors.

Tipirneni, who lost two elections to Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko in District 8 before turning her sights toward Schweikert’s Northeast Valley seat, is one of three Democratic candidates in District 6 with FEC finance reports.

Scottsdale businesswoman Stephanie Rimmer spent a little more than the approximately $12,000 she raised in the third quarter, leaving her with $86,771.87 cash on hand.

Anita Malik, who lost to Schweikert by more than 10 percentage points as the Democratic nominee in 2018, spent about $9,000 more than she raised in the third quarter and was left with $41,386.20 in the bank.

Meanwhile, in the state’s most high-profile race, FEC reports now show Democratic challenger Mark Kelly with nearly $4 million more in the bank than Sen. Martha McSally.

Both released some third-quarter fundraising information earlier this month, but Kelly hadn’t revealed his cash on hand, which is up to $9,546,141.70, according to the FEC.

McSally, meanwhile, has $5,675,716.27 cash on hand.

Arizona’s Senate race is expected to be one of the most expensive in the nation. Democrats see the seat as a key opportunity for pickup in their effort to take control of the chamber in 2020.

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