Gov. Brewer hits the fundraising circuit

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer will be busy this week asking for hand outs.

On Wednesday, the governor will headline a fundraising breakfast to help the cash depleted Arizona Republican Party.

Brewer will then head to Tucson on Friday to help raise money for former state Sen. Jonathan Paton who is running for Congress in Arizona's 1st Congressional District.

The details were part of Brewer's weekly public schedule and mark an increase in the governor's activities in Arizona politics.

The governor had only a handful of public appearances over the past several weeks. She had no public events in Arizona last week but spent several days in Colorado at the Republican Governor's Association.

But by all appearances, it looks like the Arizona Republican Party could use a financial adrenaline shot. So far this year, the state Democratic Party has outraised and outspent its Republican rivals by big numbers.

As of last month, Democrats had spent about $1.3 million to the Republican Party's $660,000, according to the Federal Election Commission's website. Worse still, the party was down to roughly $17,000 cash on hand at the end of June.

The GOP could use a lot more money as it gets ready for the general election, which will begin in earnest after the Aug. 28 primary in a few weeks.

Brewer's appearance at the Phoenix County Club in downtown Phoenix is not open to the public. According to her schedule, the party's leaders requested it be held behind closed doors.

In Paton's case, the governor is trying to help a candidate who is the favorite to win the Republican nomination at the end of the month. But he will need to fill out his campaign coffers as it appears he will face former Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Kirkpatrick has raised well over a million dollars for her campaign and had about $840,000 in available cash.

Kirkpatrick is a former congresswoman who was defeated two years ago by Paul Gosar in a year that saw Republican re-take control of Congress.

In contrast, Paton has raise more than $553,000 this cycle and about $343,000 left over at the end of June. Paton, a military war veteran, was defeated in a Republican primary as two years ago as he ran for Congress.