Welcome to the very first ScrambleWatch Muckraker’s Challenge: Just yesterday, candidates for state and local office, as well as the backers of ballot initiatives, filed their campaign finance reports.
We’re challenging you to comb through the numbers and dig up some dirt. Post your exposé in the comments section below.
The best entries get four tickets to a Saturday night Sidewinders game!
IN RELATED NEWS: Numbers from two of the districts in ScrambleWatch’s spotlight
In Legislative District 26, Rep. Pete Hershberger is battling Al Melvin in the GOP primary for the Senate seat. Hershberger is running a traditional campaign, while Melvin has already qualified for nearly $13,000 in Clean Elections money.
Hershberger had raised more than $58,000 for his campaign, with nearly $23,800 coming in since the start of the year. He still had more than $39,600 at the end of the reporting period, which was May 31.
That gives him a financial advantage over Melvin, although Clean Elections rules will give Melvin a dollar-for-dollar match of every dime that Hershberger spends, up to three times Melvin’s original check for $12,921.
Hershberger will need plenty of bucks to defend himself against Melvin’s message that Hershberger is out of step with the GOP platform. Melvin was able to successfully run the same kind of campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Sen. Toni Hellon two years ago in the northwest-side district. Melvin went on to lose the general election by fewer than 500 votes to Democrat Charlene Pesquiera, who is not running for re-election.
Whoever comes out of the GOP primary will face a tough race against Democrat Cheryl Cage, who has already received a check for $12,921 for her primary campaign from Clean Elections.
The three Republicans and two Democrats running for House seats in LD26, which is seen as a swing district in November, are all participating in Clean Elections. The two Democrats, incumbent Rep. Nancy Young Wright and Don Jorgensen, and Republicans Trent Humphries and Marilyn Zerull have received their Clean Elections funding, while Republican Vic Williams has not yet qualified.
Over in Legislative District 30, four Republicans are seeking two open House seats. Two of the candidates, Sharon Collins and David Gowan, are running as Clean Elections candidates. Collins has already received her check for $12,921.
The other two candidates, Frank Antenori and Doug Sposito, are running traditional campaigns, which has left them at a financial disadvantage at this early stage of the game. Antenori, a former Green Beret who unsuccessfully sought a congressional seat in 2006, had raised $10,404 by the end of reporting period and had spent $8,370, leaving him with just over $2K in the bank.
Sposito, a Sonoita-area homebuilder, has raised $6,065 and spent $4,725, leaving him with $1,338 in the ban.
The two winners of the GOP primary will face Democrat Andrea Dalessandro, who has already qualified for Clean Elections, in the November general election.
Here’s an updated list of candidates who have received Clean Elections dollars.
Filed under: Arizona politics, Hershberger vs. Melvin, Legislative Races, Muckraker's Challenge | Tagged: Al Melvin, Campaign Finance, David Gowan, Doug Sposito, Frank Antenori, Legislative District 26, Legislative District 30, Pete Hershberger, Sharon Collins |