U.S. Sen. John McCain will host a fundraiser for ex-staffer Jim Waring, giving the former lawmaker a cash infusion as he heads into the final week of his primary campaign.
McCain endorsed Waring in late July and will host a fundraiser for the former state senator on Aug. 18 at the Paradise Valley Country Club, according to campaign spokesman Bert Coleman.
Despite lackluster fundraising, most polls put Waring near the front of the pack in the 10-way GOP primary for the 3rd Congressional District, and Coleman said the extra campaign cash will be used for additional direct mail and television advertising. With Ben Quayle sliding in the polls, Coleman said Waring is running “neck and neck” with businessman Steve Moak, based on the campaign’s internal polling.
“It’s basically a two-person race,” Coleman said. “Polls that show Steve Moak way ahead in the polls are an illusion.”
In his Aug. 12 campaign finance report to the Federal Elections Commission, Waring reported raising only $237,000, compared to $1.1 million for Moak, including about $300,000 he loaned his campaign. Coleman, however, said Waring hasn’t been held back by his relatively low fundraising numbers.
“We have been outspent by multiples of three and four, and Jim is basically neck and neck with someone who has spent well over $1 million,” he said. “Jim Waring has been in people’s homes and living rooms visiting with voters. He has walked and knocked on the doors of tens of thousands of voters. … He walks 65 hours a week.”
Moak and Waring are looking to take advantage of Quayle’s recent fall from grace. Quayle, the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle, is the race’s fundraising leader and was long considered the frontrunner, but his recent drop in the polls was punctuated with revelations of ties to a racy, sex-themed website that satirizes Scottsdale nightlife.
Waring may benefit as well from the attacks his opponents are launching against each other. Two recent mailers from the Quayle campaign take aim at Moak, and one targets former Paradise Valley Mayor Vernon Parker as well.