Arizona Republic: Democrat Mark Kelly outpaces Republican Martha McSally in latest Senate fundraising tally
Mark Kelly, the Democrat and retired NASA astronaut who is vying to unseat Republican Sen. Martha McSally, outraised her for the third straight quarter and has eclipsed his first two previous fundraising quarters.
Kelly raised more than $5.5 million during the third quarter, his campaign told The Arizona Republic on Monday, bringing his total raised to nearly $14 million.
The 150,000 contributions to the campaign this quarter overwhelmingly came from small-dollar donors — the average contribution was $36. Kelly’s campaign has about $9.5 million cash on hand, his campaign said.
“The support that we’re seeing for this Mission for Arizona is simply out of this world,” said Jen Cox, Kelly’s campaign manager. “The past few months, Mark has been talking with Arizonans from Window Rock to Clarkdale to Parker about solutions to tackle rising health care costs and the price of prescription drugs. This campaign is demonstrating the power of putting Arizona first, not corporate PACs and not divisive politics.”
Kelly’s fundraising came during a period in which Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward said in a fundraising email sent to supporters that together, they would stop “we’ll stop gun-grabber Mark Kelly dead in his tracks.” Kelly, whose wife survived a 2011 assassination attempt, has called for stronger gun-control measures to prevent mass shootings, but his campaign calls Ward’s “gun grabber” attack a lie. He and his wife former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., own numerous guns.
Kelly fundraised off of Ward’s missive, but it did not drive the campaign’s increase over previous quarters, said Jacob Peters, Kelly’s campaign spokesman.
McSally, meanwhile, raised $3 million during the third quarter, representing more than 47,000 contributions with an average donation of $64, her campaign said. She has $5.6 million on hand.
Her campaign consultant Terry Nelson said her fundraising numbers “prove that Arizonans are unified in their support for her to keep fighting for them in the U.S. Senate. Arizonans want lower health care costs, secure borders, improved care for our veterans, and economic opportunity for their families — and this impressive fundraising haul shows that Arizonans know that Martha is listening and delivering results.”McSally faces a primary challenge from the right from businessman Daniel McCarthy. Another challenger, entrepreneur Blake Masters, is in the final stages of mulling a run.
The Senate race is deemed a toss-up by political analysts, and it is expected to draw outsize national attention and tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions and outside advertising dollars. McSally lost her 2018 run for the Senate against Democrat Kyrsten Sinema but was appointed to the state’s other Senate seat after the death of Sen. John McCain.
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