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Pearce’s $230K smashes challengers’ modest fundraising

Sen. Russell Pearce (Photo by Josh Coddington)

Senate President Russell Pearce collected an impressive $230,000 in contributions in his fight to keep his legislative seat.

His spending alone dwarfed his challenger’s modest fundraising total.

Pearce also had more cash-on-hand — roughly $71,000 — at the end of the reporting than what Jerry Lewis, the Republican who is seeking to unseat him, raised so far. Lewis raised $69,000, the latest campaign finance reports show.

Pearce’s eye-popping war chest reaffirmed a political reality: Lawmakers in powerful positions raise a lot more cash than rank-and-file members or challengers.

But what’s impressive about Pearce’s haul was he raised the money in less time compared to regular elections.

A huge chunk of Pearce’s money — about $79,000 — came from political committees. The rest came from individuals. Pearce also received a lot of small contributions.

A review of his report revealed an impressive list of high-profile lobbyists and establishment figures, such as Chuck Coughlin, the governor’s political advisor, and Arizona Department of Transportation director John Halikowski.

The list also included current and former legislators, as well as government officers.

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