Despite a recent wave of attack ads criticizing Representative Ann Kirkpatrick, the congresswoman had a stronger fundraising quarter than her Republican opponents looking to unseat her in 2014. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Rep. Kirkpatrick also recently received a high-profile endorsement.
Last week, all five members of the Coconino County Board of Supervisors endorsed Rep. Kirkpatrick for reelection to Arizona’s First Congressional District in 2014. According to The Arizona Republic, this came as the two-term Democratic congresswoman announced raising nearly $270,000 from October through December of last year. Kirkpatrick suspended fundraising during the 16-day government shutdown, but her recent push gives her campaign about $825,000 total. The National Republican Congressional Committee attacked Kirkpatrick in a series of ads attempting to tie her to the shaky rollout of the Affordable Care Act. But, Kirkpatrick spokesman D.B. Mitchell says the ads haven’t significantly affected the race.
“Sometimes in the off years it’s hard to get people riled up, if you will, and get them focused, and we’re actually seeing the opposite this year because of this negative advertising. It’s actually been a bit of a boon to our campaign and it’s really electrifying our efforts, especially this early on,” Mitchell said.
Kirkpatrick’s presumed main challenger for the hotly contested District 1 seat, Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, wasn’t far behind her fundraising numbers. During the same time period, the Paulden Republican raised about $235,000 for his campaign. Two other Republicans are also vying for Rep. Kirkpatricks’s congressional seat: cattle rancher and oilman Gary Kiehne and state representative from Oro Valley Adam Kwasman.
Arizona’s First Congressional District includes Flagstaff and much of northern and eastern Arizona, as well as Globe and some suburbs north of Tucson. Arizona primary elections will be held Aug. 26.