Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly has reportedly outraised Republican Sen. Martha McSally for the third quarter in a row, generating concern among Arizona Republicans that McSally does not have what it takes to win the race.
Kelly, a retired astronaut, raised more than $5.5 million with 150,000 donations during the third quarter, bringing his total haul to nearly $14 million, according the Arizona Republic reported Monday.
McSally, on the other hand, raised only $3 million in the third quarter, with about 47,000 contributions, and an average donation of $64, her campaign told the AZ Republic.
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.”
McSally’s campaign consultant Terry Nelson told the AZ Republic that 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.”
She has only $5.6 million on hand, compared to Kelly’s $9.5 million, according to the Republic.
During her unsuccessful run in 2018, McSally reportedly took tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from prominent Never Trumpers. The moderate Republican has a history of criticizing President Trump, and refused to endorse him in 2016.
Because of this, McSally is facing two conservative challengers in the Republican primary race—Ann Griffin, a former teacher and Daniel McCarthy, a skincare company executive.
Another potential challenger is 33-year-old venture capitalist Blake Masters, president of the Thiel Foundation, a private foundation created and funded by Peter Thiel. Masters, who is reportedly in the final stages of mulling a run, is also Chief Operating Officer at Thiel Capital and co-founder of Judicata, a technology startup that makes legal research and analytics software. His book, Zero to One, co-written with Thiel, was a #1 NYT bestseller and is considered one of the best books on the economics and philosophy of small business ever written.
“Americans want dignified work, healthy families, and strong communities,” he told American Greatness in a text message last week. “They deserve political leaders who will fight for those things. That means securing the border; getting affordable medical care to every citizen who needs it; taking on the higher education racket; stopping stupid foreign wars; and prioritizing quality of life and high-paying jobs rather than cheap imports and ever-higher profits for the Fortune 500, which never seem to benefit the middle class.”
The Senate race in Arizona has attracted nationwide attention because it is considered a toss-up by political analysts, and it is expected to draw “tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions and outside advertising dollars,” according to the Republic.
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.
Conservatives in Arizona fear that McSally—who is trailing Kelly by five in the most recent poll—is on track to lose two winnable Republican Senate seats in two years.