Lawmakers face tough Aug. primary contests

Several lawmakers face tough primary contests in August, and their fundraising records show some were financially prepared for the competition while others were not.

The Hill examined second-quarter fundraising reports for eight contests, some of which feature a member-versus-member primary, to see where the lawmakers stand financially.

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In Arizona, Republican Rep. Ben Quayle raised nearly twice as much as his opponent, fellow GOP Rep. 

David Schweikert, in the second quarter: $530,000 to $274,000.

Quayle also has more cash on hand in this member-versus-member matchup, while Schweikert is carrying $100,000 in debt.

Both are freshman lawmakers, but Quayle has garnered the most support from top-name Republicans. The son of former Vice President Dan Quayle has been endorsed by Sens. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.


Also in Arizona, newly elected Rep. Ron Barber (D), who won a special election to replace former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), is leading his primary opponent in fundraising. Barber raised $333,000 in the second quarter to Matt Heinz’s $34,000. Giffords endorsed Barber for her seat.

Arizona holds its primary on Aug. 28.

In Florida, Rep. John Mica (R) easily outraised Rep. Sandy Adams (R) in their member matchup. Besides beating her in the second quarter (his $401,000 to her $131,000), Mica has more than twice as much cash on hand: $1.3 million to Adams’s $500,000, while Adams is carrying $103,000 in debt.

It’s not surprising that the powerful chairman of the House Transportation Committee would out-raise a freshman lawmaker, although Adams has tried to capture the conservative mantle by labeling herself as a Tea Partier. Their primary is Aug. 14.

There have been rumblings that longtime lawmaker Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) is in trouble — and his numbers in the second quarter won’t quiet that talk. Conyers raised a mere $133,000 and only has $142,000 cash on hand, while his primary opponent, Glenn Anderson, raised $78,000 and has $137,000 on hand.

Those are low numbers for the longest-serving member of the House, who’s looking to be elected to his 25th term.

His Republican colleague in Michigan, Rep. Fred Upton, also faced such rumblings, but he raised a strong $628,000 to his opponent Jack Hoogendyk’s $44,000. Upton also has almost $2 million in the bank.

Michigan also has a member-member match-up, featuring Democratic Reps. Hansen Clarke and Gary Peters. Peters raised more than four times as much as Clarke in the second quarter, $316,000 to the freshman lawmaker’s $70,000. He also has an advantage in cash on hand. 

Michigan’s primary is Aug. 7.

In Missouri, Rep. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.) was put in a tough spot following the redistricting process, when his options were to run against Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.) or move to a new district that is slightly more GOP-leaning. Carnahan opted to challenge Clay. While their fundraising is on par, Clay has slightly more in the bank: $420,000 to Carnahan’s $366,000.

Both lawmakers come from prominent Missouri political families, but Clay is favored to win in the Aug. 7 primary.

Finally, in Tennessee, freshman Republican Rep. Chuck Fleischmann faces a tough primary challenge from Weston Wamp, the son of the man he replaced: longtime Rep. Zach Wamp, who left Congress to wage an unsuccessful bid for governor.

Still, the younger Wamp was outraised, $125,000 to Fleischmann’s $213,000. Fleischmann is also carrying $250,000 in debt.