PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Republican Rep. David Schweikert heads into the final months of the year with his campaign running in the red.
Campaign finance reports published this week show Schweikert is carrying more debt than cash.
The records show the congressman with $144,000 in cash and roughly $187,000 in debt as legal bills have drained his campaign cash.
For the past year and a half, the House Ethics Committee has investigated Schweikert, forcing him to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on legal fees.
"He doesn't have a campaign fund, he has a legal defense fund," said Barrett Marson, a GOP political consultant.
Marson also said Schweikert's legal bills and lackluster fundraising totals leave him vulnerable to a well-financed Democratic challenger.
"If all of his money that he takes in is going to legal bills, then he doesn't have the wherewithal to fight a real campaign which he is going to have to," Marson said.
Anita Malik, Stephanie Rimmer and Hiral Tipirneni are the three Democrats running to replace Schweikert in Arizona's 6th Congressional District.
Tipirneni leads the entire field with more than $600,000 in her campaign account.
But whoever wins the Democratic primary will face an uphill climb because the Scottsdale-north Phoenix district leans Republican.
And Schweikert, who has easily won his past re-election campaigns, is tough on the campaign trail.