Mark Kelly raises eye-popping $4 million in Arizona Senate race

Retired astronaut Mark Kelly’s Arizona Senate campaign announced Wednesday that it has raised an eye-popping $4 million in the first quarter of 2019.

The campaign said its haul was driven by more than 58,000 contributions, 96 percent of which were $100 or less. The average online contribution was $25, Kelly's campaign said.


“Our campaign is fueled by supporters from all walks of life chipping in what they can because they want a voice in their democracy and they know Mark will be an independent leader for Arizona,” campaign manager Jen Cox said in a press release. “We’re proud of the cactus roots campaign we are building with contributions from each of the fifteen counties in Arizona and without a dime from corporate PACs.”

Kelly has high name recognition as a former astronaut and as husband to former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.), who narrowly survived a shooting in 2011. The couple has since been a high-profile duo advocating for gun law reform. 

Kelly is running to face off against Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyTrump seeks to boost vulnerable GOP senator with Colorado rally Democratic Senate campaign arm raised more than .5 million in January On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump MORE (R) to serve the remaining two years of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainOvernight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria Meghan McCain after Gaetz says Trump should pardon Roger Stone: 'Oh come on' MORE’s (R) seat. McSally was appointed to the Senate in December after McCain’s death in August, with former Sen. Jon Kyl (R) serving in the interim months.

McSally’s campaign has yet to release its first quarter fundraising haul.

It appears unlikely that the former astronaut will face a serious primary challenge after Rep. Ruben GallegoRuben GallegoOne lawmaker gets engaged, another married around Valentine's Day Stage production 'Americano!' tells the life and struggles of a 'Dreamer' Democratic lawmaker says Trump 'doesn't have full command' on Iran MORE announced last month he would sit out a Senate bid.

Democrats see the Arizona Senate race as one of their top pickup opportunities after Kyrsten Sinema (D) defeated McSally last year in the race to replace the retiring Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeMcSally ties Democratic rival Kelly to Sanders in new ad McSally launches 2020 campaign Sinema will vote to convict Trump MORE (R).