Ruben Gallego, Democratic Senate Candidate in Arizona, Raises $7.5 Million

Ruben Gallego, Democratic Senate Candidate in Arizona, Raises $7.5 Million

Rep. Ruben Gallego, the expected Democratic candidate for Senate in Arizona, has raised $7.5 million in the first three months of the year, his campaign announced Tuesday, a significant sum for what is expected to be a closely contested general election campaign in the embattled state.

The win in campaign cash adds to a strong fundraising cycle so far for Mr. Gallego, a former Marine and progressive congressman whose candidacy will test how willing Arizonans are to elect a senator who is decidedly left of center . After being a reliably Republican state for decades, Arizona has elected a number of Democrats to statewide office in recent years.

In November, Mr. Gallego, who has no major challengers, will likely face Kari Lake, a former television host and close ally of former President Donald J. Trump. This contest will determine who will succeed Senator Kyrsten Sinema, who is not seeking re-election. Ms. Lake faces a primary opponent, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, but leads him by a wide margin in the polls.

So far, Mr. Gallego has raised more money than Ms. Lake, who has not yet released her latest quarterly fundraising numbers. Ms. Lake is a younger participant in the race than Mr. Gallego, who announced his entry in January 2023. In the final quarter of 2023, his campaign raised $3.3 million while her campaign raised $2.1 million.

Mr. Gallego’s latest tally compares favorably with the amounts paid by Democratic incumbents such as Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio ($6.6 million in the final three months of 2023) and Senator Jon Tester of Montana ($5.5 million U.S. dollars raised over the same period performed well, although it is difficult to compare fundraising numbers across states.

If its funding advantage holds, it could allow it to flood the airwaves with advertising in a state that has a relatively expensive television market. Mr. Gallego’s campaign spent about $1 million on his first advertising of the cycle, which began in March. Ms. Lake, who also ran for governor in 2022, overtook him on radio and aired her first ad in January.

The Gallego campaign announced its rosy fundraising numbers two weeks before the mandatory April 15 deadline, saying it had more than $9.6 million in cash on hand and that more than 100,000 people donated in the most recent quarter more than half of them were first-time donors.

“Thanks to the support of hundreds of thousands of small donors who pitched in to help Ruben Gallego get elected, we are building the infrastructure to win this November,” Nichole Johnson, Mr. Gallego’s campaign manager, said in an interview statement .

Outside groups could help make up for any fundraising shortfalls Ms. Lake faces. She enjoys the support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group dedicated to electing Republicans to the Senate, and has raised money from leading Senate Republicans such as John Barrasso of Wyoming. Last month, she and nearly 20 Senate Republicans raised $330,000 at a fundraiser in Washington and will raise even more money this week at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida.

Mr. Gallego also has support from outside groups. The Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic group, last month announced a $239 million television reservation in seven states, including $23 million in Arizona.

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2024-04-02 09:04:22