Kelly raises $12.8 million for Senate bid against Arizona's McSally

Kelly raises $12.8 million for Senate bid against Arizona's McSally
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Former astronaut Mark Kelly raised nearly $13 million in the second quarter of the year for his campaign to unseat Sen. Martha McSallyMartha Elizabeth McSallyGroup of GOP senators back more money for airlines to pay workers The Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  ACLU targets Democrats, Republicans with mobile coronavirus billboards MORE (R) in Arizona, a staggering total for a candidate who has already amassed one of the biggest war chests of the 2020 election cycle. 

Kelly will report nearly $24 million in cash reserves, his campaign said Tuesday. Of the $12.8 million he raised last quarter, 89 percent came from contributions of less than $100. The average donation size was $44, according to his campaign. 

Since announcing his bid against McSally last year, Kelly has pulled in more than $44 million, putting him among the top fundraisers on the Senate map. He’s outraised his Republican opponent in every quarter over the past 17 months. McSally hasn’t yet disclosed her second-quarter fundraising haul. 

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“We continue to be humbled by the hundreds of thousands of people chipping in whatever they can, because they want to see Mark Kelly’s experience and independent approach representing Arizonans – defending health care protections for those with pre-existing conditions and fighting for our state in the U.S. Senate,” Kelly’s campaign manager Jen Cox said in a statement.

McSally, who was appointed to her seat in late 2018 after losing a race for Arizona’s other Senate seat, is considered among the most vulnerable Republican Senate incumbents up for reelection this year, and Kelly is one of Senate Democratic leaders' top recruits of the cycle. 

Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the Senate, meaning that Democrats will need to pick up either three or four seats this cycle — depending on which party wins the White House — to take control of the Senate in November. 

Republicans are largely playing defense this year and have limited opportunities to gain seats. Their incumbents are fighting off tough reelection bids in states like Colorado, North Carolina, Maine and Montana. At the same time, Democrats are racing to expand their path to the Senate majority, eyeing potential pick-up opportunities in Georgia, Iowa and Texas.