With a boost from the Club for Growth, state Sen. Ron Gould raised more money than Congressman Paul Gosar during the past few weeks, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Gould raised nearly $100,000 between July and early August, trumping Gosar’s $85,000.
The bulk of Gould’s cash – nearly $79,000 – came from bundled contributions from the Club for Growth, a free-market advocacy group that is supporting the state senator through independent spending in the primary.
Gould, Gosar and businessman Rick Murphy are vying for the Republican Party’s nomination for the open seat in the new 4th Congressional District, an expansive area along the western border of the state.
Two Democrats, Johnnie Robinson and Mikel Weisser, and Libertarian Joe Pamelia are also running for the Congressional seat. But given the district’s Republican leanings, the winner of the GOP primary is also expected to cruise through the general election.
Despite Gould’s noticeable surge in fundraising, Gosar retains the financial upper hand with slightly less than two weeks left before the primary.
All told, the congressman has raised nearly $1 million so far in this election, compared to Gould’s $290,000. Subsequently, Gosar has spent more money and has more cash in the bank at the end of the latest reporting period.
Gosar has roughly $350,000 left in his campaign war chest, compared to Gould’s $108,000.
But Gould has also benefited from eye-popping spending from the Club for Growth.
The free-market group has dropped more than $570,000 on television ads to help Gould defeat Gosar.
The two candidates have ratcheted up the attacks during the past few weeks.
Gosar lambasted Gould for the support he’s getting from Club for Growth, describing the group as “started and supported by Wall Street millionaires.”
He also panned the state senator for running with Clean Elections money during a previous election and for later criticizing the system, which provides public financing for candidates.
Recently, Gosar attacked Gould for opposing a tax package in 2009 that included lowering taxes.
Gould shot back, calling Gosar the “most liberal Republican in the Arizona House delegation.”
“My opponent has become quite skilled at convincing you he is something he is not,” Gould said.
“If you believe Paul Gosar, he is a conservative vote in Congress. If you believe Paul Gosar, voting for the massive Obama debt increase was a good vote,” he added.
He also dug up the scorecard Gosar received from three groups, including the Club for Growth, to back his charge that the congressman isn’t as conservative as he says he is.
The ratings showed Gosar trailing the rest of the Republican Congressional delegation.
Ron Gould, Republican
Period raised: $99,355
Period spent: $101,237
Total raised: $289,351*
Total spent: $179,318
Cash on hand: $107,983
*Includes $97,500 in loans to committee
Paul Gosar, Republican
Period raised: $84,560.00
Period spent: $18,1720
Total raised: $967,713
Total spent: $644,950
Cash on hand: $349,921
Rick Murphy, Republican
Period raised: $2,900
Period spent: $41,116
Total raised: $32,900*
Total spent: $41,116
Cash on hand: $10,548
*Includes $30,000 in loans to the committee