News Column

Nearly $14M Spent in AZ US Senate Race

Oct. 17, 2012

Brady McCombs and Carli Brosseau

Richard Carmona

It takes millions to become a U.S. senator -- just ask Democrat Richard Carmona and Republican Jeff Flake.

Since launching their campaigns in 2011, the two men vying to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl have combined to raise more than $11 million and spend more than $9.3 million through September, show campaign finance reports filed this week with the Federal Election Commission.

And those eye-popping figures don't include the $4.4 million spent in the last two months by outside groups such as national parties and PACs to pay for TV and radio ads and mailers.

In the latest filing period -- which covers Aug. 9 to Sept. 30 -- Carmona raised $1.8 million, which was $535,000 more than Flake.

But Carmona spent $2.18 million in his attempt to pull ahead in the tight race, leaving him with $80,000 less than Flake in his campaign coffers at the end of September.

Flake ended the month with $1.46 million cash on hand after raising $1.26 million and spending $1.56 million.

This was the second-to-last campaign finance report before the Nov. 6 election. U.S. Senate candidates and congressional contenders will file their final reports on Oct. 25 to show what they've raised and spent from Oct. 1 to Oct. 17.

Here's a look at campaign finances in Southern Arizona's three congressional races:

-- In Congressional District 2, Democrat Ron Barber again outraised Republican Martha McSally but not by nearly as much as the previous report.

Barber raised about $475,000 in this time period, which was $47,000 more than McSally. In the previous report, submitted in mid-August, Barber brought in six times more than McSally.

More than one-third of Barber's contributions came from PACs. For McSally, PAC contributions accounted for about a quarter of the money she raised.

Barber spent $272,000, which was $14,000 more than McSally shelled out. Barber's $550,000 cash on hand still trumps McSally's $299,000.

McSally, a retired Air Force colonel, is trying to unseat Barber, the four-month incumbent finishing the CD8 term of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

-- In Congressional District 1, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick once again surpassed Republican Jonathan Paton in fundraising, adding to her substantial money edge.

Kirkpatrick took in $460,643 from Aug. 9 to Sept. 30 while Paton raised $339,668.

She also spent a lot more than Paton -- $800,926 to $229,181 for Paton. Even with all the spending, she enjoys a big lead in cash on hand.

As of Sept. 30, the Kirkpatrick campaign had raised a total of $1.87 million. Over the same period, Paton raised about half the amount -- $968,000.

Kirkpatrick ended the reporting period with more than twice as much money on hand as Paton. She had about $485,800; he had about $230,400.

Paton's campaign has seen a recent influx of PAC money. PAC donations comprised 44 percent of his contributions this period compared to 19 percent of his overall fundraising. About 29 percent of Kirkpatrick's quarterly fundraising came from PACs compared to 24 percent of her total contributions.

-- In Congressional District 3, Democratic incumbent Raul Grijalva continues to outraise Republican challenger Gabriela Saucedo Mercer by more than 2-to-1.

Grijalva brought in $158,000 this period -- compared with just $59,700 for Saucedo Mercer.

Grijalva spent most of what he raised, nearly $148,000, while Saucedo Mercer spent just $26,000.

Grijalva ended the reporting period with $89,400 cash on hand. Saucedo Mercer had $46,500.

The race is considered the least competitive of Southern Arizona's three congressional contests, with pundits expecting Grijalva to win easily in the heavily Democratic district. And the spending reflects that, with far less money coming in than the other two races.

On StarNet: Learn more about the candidates, propositions and latest news on local elections at azstarnet.com/elections

The details:

Here's how much candidates raised and spent from Aug. 9 to Sept. 30, and how much they had left in their campaign coffers at the end of the month.

U.S. Senate

Richard Carmona (D)

-- Raised: $1.8 million

-- Spent: $2.18 million

-- Cash on hand: $1.38 million

Jeff Flake (R)

-- Raised: $1.26 million

-- Spent: $1.56 million

-- Cash on hand: $1.46 million

CD1

Ann Kirkpatrick (D)

-- Raised: $460,643

-- Spent: $800,926

-- Cash on hand: $485,812

Jonathan Paton (R)

-- Raised: $339,668

-- Spent: $229,181

-- Cash on hand: $230,449

CD2

Ron Barber (D)

-- Raised: $475,339

-- Spent: $272,004

-- Cash on hand: $550,280

Martha McSally (R)

-- Raised: $428,496

-- Spent: $258,679

-- Cash on hand: $298,797

CD3

Raul Grijalva (D)

-- Raised: $158,802

-- Spent: $147,951

-- Cash on hand: $89,386

Gabriela Saucedo Mercer (R)

-- Raised: $59,659

-- Spent: $25,960

-- Cash on hand: $46,553

(c)2012 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)

Distributed by MCT Information Services



Source: (c) 2012 The Arizona Daily Star (Tucson, Ariz.)


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