Democratic Senate Campaign Rakes in Cash Following Sinema’s Announcement

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( – In December 2022, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) announced she had quit the Democratic Party and registered as an Independent. Her seat is up for election in November, and she doesn’t plan to run again. In March, she said she would be leaving Congress at the end of her term. Now the Democrat candidate to replace her says Sinema’s withdrawal has prompted a big financial boost to his campaign.

On March 5, Senator Sinema, who has sat as an independent since resigning from the Democratic Party in protest at the “broken partisan political system,” said she wouldn’t be standing for re-election in November and plans to step down from Congress. That leaves a two-horse race to replace her, with Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) facing off against former GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

The day after Sinema’s announcement, Gallego said it had “crystallized” the race and given his fundraising a massive boost. He revealed that in the 24 hours after Sinema pulled out, his campaign had received almost 24,000 donations, the most in a single day since he announced his candidacy.

Gallego already had a big lead over Lake, although part of that’s because his campaign has been running much longer. He announced his Senate bid in January 2023, and, by the end of last year, had raised almost $13.3 million. Lake, who entered the race in October, is lagging well behind on $2.1 million. According to Gallego, the latest surge in donations has brought in another $1 million.

Arizona Democrats have been playing up the significance of this cash influx. Gallego’s campaign spokeswoman, Hannah Goss, said it shows “Arizona can’t afford to send an anti-abortion election denier to the US Senate.” Gallego’s team has reason to be confident; it’s been 12 years since Arizonans elected a Republican senator. However, it’s a border state, and considering the Biden administration’s refusal to crack down on illegal immigration, Lake could still surprise them.

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