Who is raising more money in Arizona — Democrats or the GOP?

Democratic groups in Arizona have outraised their Republican counterparts in the most recent quarter, raising alarms ahead of what’s expected to be a closely contested election in one of America’s most crucial swing states.

Campaign finance records show Arizona’s Democratic Party has more cash than the state’s Republican Party, and that 40 Democratic groups, including legislative, district and county groups, raised about $2 million in the most recent quarter, four times the amount raised by 38 equivalent Republican groups in the same time period, according to records reviewed by the Arizona Republic.

Once a solid Republican state, Arizona has become a battleground, won narrowly in recent years by Democrats including President Joe Biden, Gov. Katie Hobbs, Sen. Mark Kelly, D-Ariz., and up until she left the party, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz.

Arizona Republicans meanwhile have been split between the party’s right and centrist wings. Though recent candidates aligned with former President Donald Trump have won the primaries, they’ve gone on to lose in the general election.

Top donors were inclined to give when the party put forward candidates like former Gov. Doug Ducey, a former Cold Stone Creamery CEO, but have been less likely to donate to a party headed by former GOP chair Kelli Ward, who all but endorsed the party’s “MAGA” candidates in the primaries. Rolling Stone reported Friday that Ward is being investigated as part of a probe into an alleged fake electors scheme to overturn the state’s 2020 election results.

Ward was succeeded in January by Jeff DeWit, a former state treasurer who served as NASA’s CFO during the Trump administration.

Arizona Republican Party treasurer Elijah Norton told Deseret News the party is turning things around after being chaired by Ward, who he described as “awful.”

“She left our party in a very bad spot when she left,” Norton said, citing excessive spending patterns.

He said DeWit is working hard to rebuild trust with donors and said the party was “watching our expenditures.”

Another problem the party faced when new leadership took over was having no working email server and having to rebuild their email program for small-dollar donors, an Arizona Republican Party official said.

Reaching parity with Democrats could be crucial ahead of what’s expected to be a close election in the state next year, with both the presidency and control of the U.S. Senate possibly affected by the outcome.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates Arizona’s U.S. Senate race as one of three toss ups and ranks the state as one of four toss ups in the presidential race. Arizona is the only state to be rated a toss up on both lists. In addition, the state has two competitive U.S. House races, for its 1st District, which includes Scottsdale, and its 6th District, which covers portions of Tucson and southeastern Arizona.

Arizona’s U.S. Senate race in 2022 cost nearly $236 million, the third most expensive race of the cycle, behind only Pennsylvania and Georgia. A majority was spent by outside groups.

The 2020 presidential race cost Biden, Trump and their allied groups about $97.4 million in Arizona, the sixth most expensive state, behind Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina and Wisconsin.


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