By Ronald J. Hansen, Yvonne Wingett Sanchez | Arizona Republic
While Rep. Andy Biggs considers challenging Sen. Mark Kelly next year, he and other potential Republican candidates are already behind in the money race.
Biggs, R-Ariz., raised $243,000 in the first three months of the year compared to the $4.4 million Kelly, D-Ariz., collected in the same span.
Other GOP contenders haven’t formally begun fundraising, effectively leaving them with only their own money for a Senate seat was one of the most expensive races in the nation last cycle.
There are nearly seven full quarters to go to raise money in one of the races that could determine control of the Senate, but Biggs’ pedestrian effort could add to a growing sense that Republicans are still hunting for a top-tier candidate. Kelly started 2021 slightly ahead of the pace that got him to nearly $100 million last year.
“Kelly’s number shows that he has not taken his foot off the gas since last November,” said Jessica Taylor, Senate editor for the Cook Political Report, which forecasts the 2022 Arizona race to lean in favor of Democrats. “He built up a huge fundraising base during the 2020 cycle and I think we’re seeing he’s still able to tap into that donor list. Any Republican looking at this race would have to look at this number and they’re going to have to at least come close to it.