While Republicans duke it out for their party’s nomination, Jon Hulburd, the Democratic candidate for Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, is amassing a huge war chest for the November general election.
Hulburd’s campaign announced July 9 that the candidate has raised $750,000.
More than $250,000 of the cash came in during the second quarter, the campaign said.
Hulburd, a businessman and attorney, doesn’t have a primary challenge this August, which means he can focus all his energy and money on winning the general election.
“What we’re excited about is they battle it out in the primary (while) we get to hold our resources,” said Ruben Alonzo, Hulburd’s campaign manager.
The campaign is also reaching out to independent voters, who make up about one-third of the electorate in the district, Alonzo said.
“We know that those 10 Republicans are all talking to Republicans,” Alonzo said. “So we’re taking advantage and talking to independent voters.”
Independent voters make up nearly 30 percent of the 376,000 voters in the district that covers Paradise Valley, north Phoenix and the north Valley.
Hulburd would need all the resources he can get.
The Republican contest offers a formidable cast of veteran politicos, businessmen, activists, and a son of a former U.S. vice president.
Whoever emerges from the GOP primary would also have an obvious edge over other parties’ candidates; Republicans hold a 47,000-voter-registration advantage over Democrats in the district.
In 2008, when Democrats mounted a vigorous campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. John Shadegg, the incumbent got 33,000 more votes than his Democratic challenger, Bob Lord.
What’s different this year, however, is that the candidates would be battling for a vacant seat.
Shadegg announced early this year that he is retiring at the end of his current term.