Arizona Republicans chasing Sen. Mark Kelly in fundraising for 2022

Jul 16, 2021, 11:47 AM | Updated: 1:12 pm
(Facebook Photo/Senator Mark Kelly)...
(Facebook Photo/Senator Mark Kelly)
(Facebook Photo/Senator Mark Kelly)

PHOENIX – Arizona Republicans angling to take on U.S. Sen. Mark Kelly next year are facing an uphill climb when it comes to campaign dollars.

The incumbent Democrat pocketed a $6 million second-quarter fundraising haul and will report more than $7 million cash on hand, his campaign said this week. His latest quarterly report hadn’t been posted to the Federal Elections Commission website as of Friday morning, although he had about $4.3 million on hand after the first quarter.

“The swell in grassroots support we’re seeing is a direct result of Mark delivering in the Senate and will be what fuels our people-powered campaign as we move full speed ahead into 2022,” Emma Brown, Kelly’s campaign manager, said in a press release Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the three top Republican fundraisers so far have combined to collect about $3.1 million, with neither of them having campaigned for a full quarter yet and the primary still 13 months away.

Business executive Jim Lamon has the early GOP money lead, although $2 million of the approximately $2.23 million he reported in his initial FEC filing came from a loan he made to his own campaign. With a little more than $1 million in spending, Lamon, who announced his candidacy May 2, was left with about $1.2 million cash on hand heading into the second half of the year.

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who joined the race June 10 and is considered by many to be the Republican front-runner, said in a press release Friday his campaign took in about $500,000 in its first month. His FEC filing for the period ending June 30 shows him taking in about $440,000 and having just under $400,000 cash on hand.

“Public enthusiasm for his campaign is growing by the day,” Joanna Duka, a Brnovich campaign spokeswoman, said in a press release. “While we expect Democratic Party darling Mark Kelly to outspend us, with the majority of his money coming from out-of-state, the people of Arizona are more interested in a senator who will represent their values and interests.”

If loans from the candidates are excluded, Brnovich, who was the last to enter the race, is the leading GOP fundraiser so far.

Retired Maj. Gen. Mick McGuire, former head of the Arizona National Guard, reported a second-quarter take of about $426,000 and just over $400,000 cash on hand, according to his FEC filing. That included a $200,000 loan from the candidate.

Another Republican candidate expected to make fundraising noise is Blake Masters, an ally of billionaire and major political spender Peter Thiel. Masters didn’t join the race until July and is not yet required to file fundraising reports.

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Arizona Republicans chasing Sen. Mark Kelly in fundraising for 2022