RGA spending for Ducey far outpaces AZ-based contributions

By: - October 1, 2018 6:19 am
Doug Ducey

Governor Doug Ducey speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center on Aug 31, 2016. Photo courtesy Gage Skidmore

The Republican Governors Association has raised more than $2 million from Arizona-based contributors during the 2018 election cycle, but that’s still far less than the national GOP organization has spent aiding Gov. Doug Ducey’s re-election campaign.

The effort began in April, when the RGA started airing TV ads backing Ducey’s education funding proposal. It has since launched a massive television advertising campaign against David Garcia, the Democratic nominee for governor. The group has so far reported spending more than $9.1 million to back Ducey, though some of that has been to reserve time for ads that haven’t yet run.

The biggest contribution listed as coming from Arizona was actually from General Motors, which is headquartered in Detroit. The auto manufacturer’s Arizona-based LLC gave two $250,000 contributions, one in 2017 and one in 2018. The largest contribution from a company that is actually headquartered in Arizona was $175,000 from Pinnacle West, the parent company of Arizona Public Service. (Don Brandt, the CEO of Pinnacle West and APS, is a close ally of Ducey. In early 2018, APS funded a series of TV ads promoting gains made in K-12 during Ducey’s first term.)

The biggest individual contributor from Arizona has been Tom Lewis, founder of the real estate management firm TW Lewis Company, who contributed $125,000 since the beginning of 2017.

Other major Arizona contributors to RGA this election cycle were the University of Phoenix, which gave $100,000; Tucson auto dealership owner Jim Click, who gave $75,000; and Services Group of America, which gave $60,000. The RGA has also reported receiving about $102,000 in financial support services from Lovas Co, a political fundraising firm that does work for Ducey and many other high-profile Republicans in Arizona.

The $2 million figure does not include money raised since the beginning of July. The RGA’s next report to the IRS, which will cover the third quarter of 2018, is due Oct. 15.

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Jeremy Duda
Jeremy Duda

Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Jeremy Duda previously served as the Mirror's associate Editor. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”