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Az Congress fundraising shows incumbents' advantage

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There's nothing new to the idea that congressional incumbents have a huge advantage in fundraising, but recent campaign totals show just how difficult it can be to out-maneuver a sitting representative on the money front. Just one challenger, CD 2's Martha McSally, raked in big bucks, with CD 3's Gabby Mercer faring so badly that her campaign account is running in the red.

McSally, a Republican seeking a rematch against Rep. Ron Barber and not facing much of a challenge in the party primary, actually out-raised the sitting congressman in the first quarter of the year.

Papers filed with the Federal Election Commission before Tuesday's deadline show McSally pulled in $441,000 during the first period of 2014. She has about $850,000 cash in the bank, out of $1.2 million raised for her second run for Congress.

Barber, who raised $422,000 in the first quarter, still maintains a larger campaign warchest, with $1.2 million on hand out of an overall $1.6 million raised for the election cycle.

Ann Kirkpatrick, representing the far-flung CD 1, raised nearly $325,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31, with more than $1 million on hand.

Two of the three Republican challengers for the district combined to raise less than Kirkpatrick's total. Andy Tobin raised just under $149,000, and Gary Kiehne pulled in $66,000 during the first three months of 2014.

Records for a third challenger, Adam Kwasman, were not yet available from the FEC on Thursday.

Southern Arizona's other congressional district, Raul Grijalva's CD3, showed the incumbent far in the lead, although raising less money than his fellow Democrats in other districts.

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Grijalva added just over $42,000 in the first quarter to his campaign account, which sits at $109,000. That total is far higher than the negative balance shown for Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, whose account was $155.81 in the red. Mercer reported raising just $1,951, while spending $2,880.

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