Democrats winning money race in key congressional races

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Democrats are outraising and outspending their Republican challengers in two key races that could determine which party sends more congressmen to Washington D.C. next year.

According to the latest campaign finance reports, Democrats in the 1st and 9th congressional districts are winning the money chase heading into the final weeks of the election.

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema hauled in about $664,000 between Aug. 8 and Sept. 29, while Republican Vernon Parker raised about $372,000 over the same time.

More importantly, perhaps, Sinema outspent Parker by a nearly 2-to-1 margin during that time period. According to federal spending reports, Sinema doled out $530,000 to Parker's $226,000.

The two candidates are battling for Arizona's new 9th Congressional District which takes in parts of Tempe, Phoenix, Mesa and Scottsdale.

In Arizona's 1st Congressional District, which takes in the eastern and northeastern parts of the state, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick raised $460,00 to Republican Jonathan Paton's $340,000.

And according to the Federal Election Commission, Kirkpatrick shelled out $800,000 while Paton spent $236,000.

Despite the cash advantage, recent polls show Paton gaining momentum as outside groups like the National Republican Congressional Committee spend big money on commercials.

The two races play a big role in the overall political battle for Arizona's political makeup. As it stands right now, Republicans are expected to safely win four of the state's nine congressional seats.

Democrats can easily count on taking two seats, while a third in southern Arizona is leaning Democrat. That leaves the seats in districts 1 and 9 up for grabs.

Republicans can claim a majority of Arizona's seats by winning in one of the two swing districts. For Democrats to make the same claim, they will have to win both.