Money slows in prime GOP contest

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Matt Salmon (left) and Kirk Adams By Catherine Holland Matt Salmon (left) and Kirk Adams By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- It was supposed to be one of the most watched political match-ups of the year.

But financial reports released over the weekend tell the story of a race that hasn't inspired political donors to break out their checkbooks, lately.

Although former Congressman Matt Salmon out-raised his political rival Kirk Adams by a lot, both Republicans posted their worst (or nearly worst) fundraising totals so far.

Salmon reported raising about $110,000 over the previous three months, his poorest showing since launching his campaign over a year ago.

Still, it was more than enough to outpace Adams, who turned in his second lowest fundraising total of the race. According to the Federal Election Commission, Adams brought in about $59,000 between April and the end of June.

The only quarter worse than that, was final three months of 2011, when Adams, the former Arizona speaker of the House, raised about $54,000.

Salmon, according to the reports, also has a considerable amount more money than his opponent as the race heads into the final stretch. Salmon has roughly $336,000 left in his campaign coffers while Adams has about $162,000.

Adams and Salmon have a long history that started when Adams volunteered as a driver on Salmon's unsuccessful run at the governor's office in 2000.

After Adams quite his job as a state lawmaker to run for Congress last year, it was expected this would be one of the state most watched races.

But the campaign has taken a back seat to other political contests such as the Senate race and the GOP primary in Arizona's new 6th Congressional district where two incumbent Republican congressmen, Reps. Ben Quayle and David Schweikert, are squaring off.

Still, both candidates have shown they can raise big money. A year ago, Adams reported raising about $230,000 in his first quarter of fundraising. And in the first three months of the year, Salmon hauled in $238,000, the highest total of any of the two candidates.