Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward’s first quarter campaign fundraising proves one thing – she is dominating the Grand Canyon State’s political scene. Ward’s 2016 campaign for U.S. Senate against John McCain, 79, raised over $525,000 in its first FEC fundraising quarter. That is more than the first quarter reports from Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Joni Ernst’s first quarter totals combined during their first Senate races. It also surpassed first-quarter fundraising numbers from leading Republican Senators including Senators Mike Lee, Tom Cotton, and Chris McDaniel.
“More than the first quarter reports from Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Joni Ernst’s first quarter totals combined”
The explosive start to the Ward campaign sends a clear message to the McCain team running for a 6th term who reportedly raised over $1 million this quarter. Just as seen nationwide, there is a pro-outsider-candidate appeal right now among Arizona voters. The top three Presidential candidates polling in Arizona (Trump, Carson, and Fiorina) have never held political office before, and Kelli Ward, a practicing ER doctor, seems to be tapping into that public frustration with the establishment. “We have to elect people who are of the people, not above the people,” she said in a radio interview this past month. That message is clearly resonating with voters, but will she be able to keep the momentum going through the August Primary? “It will take an incredible amount of support to defeat McCain’s millions coming from D.C., from those who have financial interest in keeping him there,” she stated. Alex Meluskey and Claire Van Steenwyk, two other candidates seeking the Republican nomination, haven’t been as successful. At the time of this publication, Meluskey has raised only $21,000 during the past 5 months, and it’s unclear if he will continue to loan himself $4 dollars for every $1 dollar he receives. Van Steenwyk has yet to file with the FEC.
Someone close to the campaign reassured that “these fundraising numbers prove that Kelli is the only viable opponent to Senator McCain.” They continued, “We look forward to the field clearing out and ensuring a one-on-one race to retire McCain.” When asked about Meluskey’s low fundraising numbers, they responded that it doesn’t seem sustainable for much longer.
Ward told The Republic that her 2,000+ contributions “…are from individuals in Arizona and across the country who believe it is time to shake up Washington.” She continued, “Contrast this to Mr. McCain, who is bought and paid for with hundreds of thousands he has received in the first half of this year alone from D.C. special interests and lobbyists.”
Senator Kelli Ward topped the unsuccessful 2008 Republican Presidential nominee 45/36 according to the most recent polling conducted by Gravis Marketing released on August 21st.
(Photo by Gage Skidmore)