by Jim Nintzel
It's a cards-on-the-table day as candidates in the special election to complete Gabrielle Giffords' congressional term have to file campaign-finance reports.
Democrat Ron Barber, the longtime aide to Giffords, sent out a bulletin this morning revealing that he had raised $549,132 in the first seven weeks of the campaign—an impressive haul for someone who has never run for office before. (We're sure that having Giffords' endorsement didn't hurt.)
Earlier this week, Republican Dave Sitton reported raising $260,550. Sitton still had $132,253 cash on hand at the end of the reporting period, which was March 28.
Jesse Kelly, the 2010 GOP nominee who narrowly lost to Giffords, will report raising roughly
$215,000, according to campaign spokesman John Ellinwood.
We're waiting to hear back from campaigns of Republican candidates Frank Antenori and Martha McSally.
The Republican candidates are facing a primary election in less than two weeks on April 17. The winner of that contest will face Barber on June 12.
Here's today's press release from the Barber campaign:
Today Ron Barber for Congress filed its first campaign finance report with the Federal Election Commission, showing that his campaign raised $549,132 from over 3,200 people in just seven weeks. The donations are the result of tremendous grassroots support from people who recognize that Ron is a powerful voice for Arizona’s middle class families.
3,293 individuals donated to Barber's effort—a strong show of support that includes donors from the southernmost part of the district in Douglas to Oro Valley and across Arizona.
“I am honored to have the support of so many people—over three thousand strong—who have stepped forward for our campaign because they know I will step up and fight for middle class families in Washington," said Barber. "I believe that fundraising isn’t just about the bottom line—it’s about people investing in someone they know will stand up for their values. When I am elected, I’ll fight for our middle class and veterans and to protect Social Security and Medicare.”