Democrat Cherny tops $400,000 in 7 weeks for Arizona House bid

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Cherny’s two Democratic primary opponents, Arizona state Sen. Krysten Sinema and state Senate Minority Leader David Shapira, have not released their numbers, which aren’t due to the Federal Election Commission for another two weeks. But both Sinema and Shapira have been official candidates for longer than Cherny, who served as the state party head and top fundraising official until shortly before entering the race on Feb. 9. The first quarter of 2012 will be the first quarter that any of the three are filing reports on what they raised.

“Given the head start of our primary opponents and the limited amount of time we had this quarter, we anticipate we’ll be outraised by our opponents in the first quarter of the campaign,” said Seth Scott, Cherny’s campaign manager. “But we do believe the momentum in this campaign is certainly on our side.”

The three Democrats are competing for the nomination for a competitive Phoenix-area seat that has no incumbent. Arizona gained a seat in the House after the 2010 U.S. Census due to rapid population growth, and a redistricting panel created a toss-up district that has prompted intense primary competition on both sides. At least four Republicans are vying for the seat.

Cherny worked as a prosecutor and an aide in the Clinton administration before leading the state’s Democratic efforts. Since entering the race, Cherny has picked up the support of the SEIU and of former state Attorney General Terry Goddard, the Democratic nominee in 2010 to unseat Gov. Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.).

The Hill rates this race a toss-up.

- This post was updated at 1:37 p.m.