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 McSallyBossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Cuomo rings the first opening bell since March House Democrats make initial ad buys in battleground states MORE (R) to serve the remaining two years of the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip What does Joe Biden believe about NASA, space exploration and commercial space? The Memo: Activists press Biden on VP choice 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 GallegoDozens of Democrats plan to vote remotely in a first for the House House members race to prepare for first-ever remote votes Arizona health department told university to stop doing COVID-19 modeling 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 Flake'Never Trump' Republicans: Fringe, or force to be reckoned with? The Memo: Can the Never Trumpers succeed? Former GOP Sen. Jeff Flake says he will not vote for Trump MORE (R).