Southern Arizona Congresswoman Martha McSally had another titanic fundraising quarter, bringing in nearly $853,000.
McSally’s fundraising machine is an astonishing thing to watch in action: Even before she was elected, she was one of the best congressional fundraisers in the country. She raises so much money that her accountants can barely keep track of all of it, as several amended FEC reports have shown.
Team McSally spends a lot of those dollars on that fundraising—in the last quarter, she reported expenses of just under $585,000—but she’s still had more than $2.2 million on hand as of March 31 for her reelection campaign.
That kind of enviable warchest certainly puts McSally in a great position going into the 2016 race for CD2, which includes eastern Pima County and all of Cochise County. But McSally still has to worry at least a little bit about how the national mood will affect the 2016 race. (If she weren’t worried about whether voters in CD2 will send her back for a second term, why would she be dodging the question of whether she would support Donald Trump at the top of the GOP ticket?)
The two Democrats who are vying for the chance to run against McSally had very different quarters. Former state lawmaker Matt Heinz raised nearly $205,000, as he has in previous quarters. (Heinz gave the campaign $11,648, which helped him clear that $200,000 benchmark.) He spent about $121,758 during the quarter, leaving him with just under $388,698 in the bank.
Bill Scheel, a Team Heinz campaign strategist, called the first quarter “another solid fundraising quarter for Matt, so we’re happy. We think that Matt has established himself the de facto nominee at this point.”
Democrat Victoria Steele—who has racked up an impressive series of endorsements, including the support of Congressman Raul Grijalva—continues to struggle on the fundraising front.
Steele reported raising just under $40,000—which was nearly as much as the $39,199 she spent. As a result, Steele had just under $45,000 in the bank.
It’s certainly true that you don’t need more money than your opponent to win a congressional race—but you do need enough to remain a competitive candidate, and so far, Steele doesn’t appear to be hitting those benchmarks.
We also hear that Steele has parted ways with her campaign manager, Keith Rosendahl. The Weekly reached out to both Steele and Rosendahl to find out what’s going on with the campaign, but didn’t hear back from either of them today.