Will there be a third classic battle between current Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2) and Ron Barber (Dem.), the Representative she defeated last year on her second try? Barber, 69, is announcing his decision tomorrow, on (the similarly-named) Zona Politics program on Channel 9.
Echoing the two hard-fought campaigns between Jim McNulty and Jim Kolbe 30 years earlier, Barber and McSally battled to near-draws in 2012 and 2014. In the former, Barber was aided by the Democrat at the top of the ticket, and in the latter, McSally received a boost from the national trend.
Tomorrow also happens to be the day that Hillary Clinton is announcing her candidacy for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016. (The former Secretary of State is two years younger than Barber; of course, Barber has not been a political figure for three decades, either.)
Interestingly, while the vanquished Congressman was consistently outraised and outspent by McSally, Barber had more net campaign cash on hand at the end of 2014. Barber and McSally have to file reports later this week, but the 2014 year-end reports show Barber with net cash on hand of $383,000 and McSally with $266,000.
Meanwhile, McSally's campaign fundraising is already gearing up for a re-election campaign. She recently added a new Joint Fundraising Committee to her long list of group fundraisers. "Patriots Day I 2015" is the newest effort. It will benefit 10 1st and 2nd term Republican Representatives from around the country.
The Patriots Day JFCs have, in the past, been large efforts my House Speaker John Boehner's organizations. The most recent one (in 2013) saw The Freedom Project, Friends of Boehner and New Pioneers PAC chipping in $85,000, $42,000, and $55,000, respectively. The first two are part of the Speaker's stable, and the third seems to be a favored vehicle of Republican billionaire Paul Singer. (Singer was a major fundraiser for McSally last year.)
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