Brewer drops money on 2 key congressional races

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By Mark Wilson By Mark Wilson

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer is stepping up her efforts to help Arizona Republicans win a majority of the state's nine congressional seats this year.

On Tuesday, the Republican governor dropped a combined $65,000 on the state's 1st and 2nd congressional races. The money came from Brewer's federal political action committee, JAN PAC, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Specifically, the governor spent $29,651 to help Republican Martha McSally defeat incumbent Ron Barber in the 2nd Congressional District. Brewer also doled out $35,567 in the 1st Congressional District  between Republican Jonathan Paton against Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick.

In both races the money was used on mailers. This also marks the third congressional race in Brewer has jumped into. A couple of weeks ago, Brewer spent $23,257 on flyers bashing Democrat Kyrtsen Sinema who is challenging Republican Vernon Parker in Arizona's 9th Congressional District.

The outcomes of the three races will likely determine which party makes up the majority of the state's congressional delegation. Democrats will have to sweep all three of the races to win a majority while Republicans need to win one.

Democrats were quick to respond. After word of Brewer's spending got out, the Arizona Democratic Party used the news to raise money. Luis Heredia, the chairman of the Arizona Democratic Party, issued a email, calling this an "unprecedented" move by a governor.

The release also asked donors to pony up some cash and included a link to where supporters could contribute money to the party.

"While other governors around the country are working with their members of Congress to get people back to work, Jan Brewer and her corporate special interests are funding baseless attacks. Her 11th-hour attack is an unprecedented move by a sitting governor in our state," Heredia said in the statement.

"She knows she is losing her grip on power and she is desperate to keep her radical Tea Party friends. We need your support to defend our Congressional Candidates and fight back, make a contribution now!"