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Campaign finance reports show McCain with big edge in cash

Sen. John McCain ended the third quarter with 500 times more cash on hand – $5 million in all – than his closest declared Republican rival, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.

“He’s clearly on the path to continue raising money in a substantial amount,” said Frederic Solop, a Northern Arizona University political science professor.

McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election to Barack Obama and is seeking a fifth Senate term, raised $919,000 during the three months ending Sept. 30. That included $116,000 from political action committees and other groups.

Republican Chris Simcox, former president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a volunteer group that patrols the southwestern border, raised $20,000 during the quarter, including $2,500 from a Reston, Va., organization called Minuteman PAC Inc. He had a little less than $10,000 cash on hand.

A message left with Simcox’s campaign headquarters in Scottsdale wasn’t returned by late afternoon on Oct. 23.

Phoenix businessman Jim Deakin, another Republican, raised $2,040 in the quarter and had $5,400 cash in hand.

William Lundy of Lake Havasu City, a Republican who has filed a statement of candidacy with the FEC, didn’t report any contributions by the third-quarter deadline on Oct. 22.

An aide who asked to be identified only as “a McCain spokesperson” responded in an e-mail that the senator’s contributions to date “reflect the broad level of support he enjoys from Arizonans.”

Solop said McCain remains a strong candidate even though more conservative members of his party think he’s soft on immigration and too willing to work with Democrats. But he said that faction doesn’t dominate the GOP.

“As far as the general public in Arizona, McCain has a very strong reputation,” Solop said.

Among Democrats, Rodolfo Garcia of Tucson raised $1,441 during the quarter and had $584 cash on hand. Joseph Huff of Scottsdale didn’t report contributions and Stuart M. Starky of Phoenix reported no cash on hand.

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