Legislative independent spending outpaces 2018 by wide margin

Deposit Photos/Ras-Slava

By Arren Kimbel-Sannit | Arizona Capitol Times

Outside spending in legislative races has already trumped the 2018 election cycle with two-plus weeks still to go until Election Day, recent campaign finance reports show.

Independent expenditure groups – which can invest unlimited money in districts to either support or oppose a given candidate, so long as they don’t coordinate with any candidate or candidate’s committee – are propping up campaigns on both sides of the aisle, in some cases outspending the lawmakers to-be they’re supporting.

Up to this point in the cycle, these groups have spent almost $12 million on legislative candidates, almost $5 million more than they spent in legislative races in the entirety of the 2018 election term. (This number does not include the gargantuan sums spent in that year’s gubernatorial election.)

This, if not the most ever, is certainly up there, said Chad Campbell, a former House Democratic minority leader now with the left-leaning public affairs firm Strategies 360, which has done some work for dark money PAC Opportunity Arizona.

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