What PACs are giving to Arizona senate hopefuls?




This is the second in an ongoing series that examines spending by political action committees.

Political action committees, commonly known as PACs, are a major way for candidates to raise money for their campaigns.

In the races for the Arizona Senate, Republican candidates are taking the bulk of PAC money.

Nineteen of the 22 Republican candidates have accepted contributions from PACs and 17 of the 29 Democratic candidates have done the same.

All of the Democrats who have eschewed PAC contributions have done so because they are running publicly financed campaigns through Arizona’s Clean Elections system, which bars them from taking money from PACs. Only one of the three Republican candidates with no PAC support are using Clean Elections.

The Arizona Mirror examined campaign finance reports to examine the support each candidate for state-level office has from PACs. Including candidates who lost in the August primary election, Senate candidates in have received roughly $251,100 from PACs. Heather Carter, JD Mesnard, Frank Pratt, Vince Leach, Sean Bowie, Paul Boyer, Rebecca Rios and Kate Brophy McGee benefited the most from PAC money this cycle.

But what PACs are giving money, and to whom?

Here is a rundown of the PAC contributions to the candidates running for for the Arizona Senate. The last reporting period ended on August 11, and any contributions received by candidates after that date won’t be publicly disclosed until the next campaign finance reports, which are due on October 15.

Senate District 1

Jo Craycraft, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Karen Fann, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the UnitedHealth Group PAC ($2,000), Prescott Police Association ($1,500) and Arizona Chapter Of the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks Inc. ($1,500). Fann has raised more from PACs than she has from individual contributors. 

Senate District 2

Andrea Dalessandro, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Shelley Kais, Republican: Only PAC donation from the Arizona Multihousing Association PAC ($250). The rest of her funds came from individuals.

Senate District 3

Sally Ann Gonzales, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Senate District 4

Lisa Otondo, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the Arizona Professional Firefighters PAC ($1,000), the Tohono O’Odham Nation ($750), Union Pacific Fund for Effective Government PAC  ($500), Arizona Dental Association PAC ($500) and Arizona Action Committee for Rural Electrification ($500).

Senate District 5

Sonny Borrelli, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Political Action Committee ($5,000), Pinnacle West PAC ($2,000) and the Realtors of Arizona PAC ($1,000).

J’Aime Morgaine, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Senate District 6

Sylvia Allen, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Arizona Leadership Fund ($5,000), Pinnacle West PAC ($1,000), Arizonans for Stronger Universities PAC ($1,000) and the Wellcare Health Plans, Inc. Political Action Committee ($1,000). Allen also had several more small-dollar PAC contributions.

Wade Carlisle, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from United Transportation Union PAC ($5,000) and the Arizona Education Association Fund for Public Education ($1,500).

Senate District 7

John Lewis Mealer, Republican: No PAC money.

Jamescita Peshlakai, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions are from the Wellcare Health Plans, Inc. Political Action Committee ($1,000), Union Pacific Corp Fund for Effective Government ($500), Pinnacle West PAC ($500) and the Arizona Education Association Fund for Public Education ($500).

Senate District 8

Sharon Girard, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.  

Frank Pratt, Republican: Largest PAC contributions are from the Safeguarding American Liberties Morals & Opportunities Now PAC, which is run by former Congressman Matt Salmon ($5,000), Arizona Leadership Fund ($5,000) and Unitedhealth Group PAC ($4,000). Most of Pratt’s funding comes from PACs.

Senate District 9

Victoria Steele, Democrat: Clean Election candidate.

Senate District 10

David Bradley, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the Wellcare Health Plans, Inc. Political Action Committee ($1,000), Arizona Dental Association PAC ($1,500) and the Arizona Professional Firefighter PAC ($1,000).

Marilyn Wiles, Republican: No PAC contributions as Wiles is self-funded.

Senate District 11

Mohammed Arif, Green: There was no available data on Arif.

Ralph Atchue, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Vince Leach, Republican: Largest PAC contributions are from the Pinnacle West PAC ($2,000), Arizona Leadership Fund ($1,000), Raytheon Company Political Action Committee ($1,000), SaddleBrooke Republican Club ($1,000), Union Pacific Corp Fund for Effective Government ($1,000), Arizona Action Committee for Rural Electrification ($1,000) and the Geo Group, Inc. Political Action Committee ($750). 

Senate District 12

Elizabeth Brown, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Eddie Farnsworth, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association PAC ($2,000), Pinnacle West PAC ($1,000), Gilbert Police Leadership Association Committee ($1,000) and the Salt River Project Political Involvement Committee ($850). 

Senate District 13

Michelle Harris, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Sine Kerr, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Western Growers Political Action Committee ($2,000), Wellcare PAC ($1,000), Pinnacle West PAC ($1,000), Transportation Associates Legislative & Education PAC ($1,000), Arizona Cotton Growers Association PAC ($1,000), Salt River Project Political Involvement Committee ($1,000), Paloma PAC ($750) and the Realtors Of Arizona Pac ($750).

Senate District 14

Jaime Alvarez, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.  

David Gowan, Republican: Largest PAC contribution comes from the LKQ Corporation Employees for Good Government Fund ($2,000).

Senate District 15

Heather Carter, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Safeguarding American Liberties Morals & Opportunities Now PAC ($4,100), Unitedhealth Group Incorporated PAC ($5,000), Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association PAC ($2,000), Tenet Healthcare Corporation PAC ($2,000), Arizona Dental Association ($2,000), Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association PAC ($2,400) and the Arizona Leadership Fund ($1,000). 

Kristin Dybvig-Pawelko, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Senate District 16

Ben Carmitchel, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.  

David Farnsworth, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Pinnacle West PAC ($1,500), Cox PAC ($1,100) and the Salt River Project Political Involvement Committee ($925).

Senate District 17

JD Mesnard, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Arizona Leadership Fund ($5,000), Unitedhealth Group Inc. PAC ($3,500), Pinnacle West PAC ($3,000), Arizona Professional Firefighter PAC ($4,000) and the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association PAC ($2,000). Mesnard had multiple other PAC donations. The majority of Mesnard’s fundraising has been from PACs. 

Steven Weichert, Democrat: No PAC contributions.

Senate District 18

Sean Bowie, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from Arizona Pipe Trades 469 ($10,200), Maricopa County Legislative District 18 Democrats ($5,100), United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 PAC ($3,500) and the Arizona Education Association for Public Education PAC ($1,500). 

Frank Schmuck, Republican: Mostly funded by individual donors as well as money from Team Schmuck, his campaign committee from his 2016 Senate run, from which he transferred $24,896.89. Largest PAC contributions from the Freedom Club PAC ($500) and the Services Group of America PAC ($500).

Senate District 19

Lupe Contreras, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the Realtors of Arizona PAC ($1,500), the Wellcare Pac ($1,000), Arizona Professional Firefighters PAC ($1,000), Cox PAC ($1,750), Mesa Police Association Political Action Committee ($1,000) and the Salt River Project Political Involvement Committee ($625). Contreras is mostly funded by PACs.

Senate District 20

Paul Boyer, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the United Phoenix Firefighters Peoria Chapter ($5,100), Glendale Firefighters PAC ($5,000), Arizona Professional Firefighter PAC ($10,100), Phoenix Firefighters Local 493 PAC ($5,000) and the UnitedHealth Group Incorporated PAC ($3,000). Boyer has lots of money from firefighter groups and other PACs. The majority of his funding is from PACs. 

Douglas Ervin, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Doug Quelland, Independent: Has not reported receiving any PAC contributions.

Senate District 21

Rick Gray, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Arizona Leadership Fund ($3,500), Pinnacle West PAC ($1,000), American Insurance Association Political Action Committee State Individual Account ($1,000), Wellcare Health Plans, Inc. Political Action Committee ($1,000) and the Freeport-McMoRan Inc. Arizona Political Action Committee ($750).

Kathy Knecht, Independent: Largest PAC contributions from the Local 359 PAC ($5,000) and the Arizona Education Association Fund for Public Education ($750).

Senate District 22

Wendy Garcia, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

David Livingston, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Unitedhealth Group PAC ($4,000), Arizona Leadership Fund ($1,000), Pinnacle West PAC ($1,000) and the Healthy Government Committee PAC by Blue Cross-Blue Shield Of Arizona ($800). Livingston also has lots of smaller donations from other various PACs.

Senate District 23

Christopher Leone, Independent: Clean Elections candidate.

Daria Lohman, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Pinnacle West PAC ($1,500), Arizona Leadership Fund ($1,000) and the Salt River Project Political Involvement Committee ($800).

Senate District 24

Vicki Alger, Republican: No PAC contributions.

Lela Alston, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the United Food & Commercial Workers Union Of Arizona Local 99 PAC ($5,000), Local 359 PAC ($2,000), UnitedHealth Group Incorporated PAC ($1,500). Alston also had lots of smaller donations from other various PACs.

Senate District 25

Kathy Lynn Mohr-Almeida, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Tyler Pace, Republican: The majority of Pace’s funds, about $20,100, came from himself. Largest PAC contributions from the Arizona Assisted Living Federation of America ($300) and the Arizona Professional Firefighters PAC ($250).

Senate District 26

Juan Mendez, Democrat: Clean Elections candidate.

Rebecca Speakman, Republican: Clean Elections candidate.

Senate District 27

Rebecca Rios, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 Pac ($5,000), Union Pacific Corporation Fund for Effective Government ($2,000), Raytheon Company Political Action Committee ($1,000), Aetna Inc. Political Action Committee ($1,000), Union Pacific Corporation Fund for Effective Government ($750), Gila River Indian Community ($1050), Arizona Osteopathic Medical Assn Pac ($1,300) and the SRP Political Involvement Committee ($625). Rios is mostly funded by PACs.

Senate District 28

Kate Brophy McGee, Republican: Largest PAC contributions from the Arizona Leadership Fund ($5,000), Safeguarding American Liberties Morals & Opportunities Now PAC ($5,000), UnitedHealth Group Incorporated Pac ($4,000) and the Arizona Association of Community Managers PAC ($2,000). 

Christine Porter Marsh, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the Future Now Fund ($5,100), United Transportation Union PAC ($2,500) and the Arizona List PAC ($1,000).

Senate District 29

Martin Quezada, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the Arizona Pipe Trades 469 ($5,000), Wellcare Health Plans, Inc. Political Action Committee ($1,000), Arizona Education Association Fund for Public Education ($750), Cox PAC ($750) and the Salt River Project Political Involvement Committee ($625).

Senate District 30

Otoniel Navarrete, Democrat: Largest PAC contributions from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 99 PAC ($2,500), Wellcare Health Plans, Inc. Political Action Committee ($1,000) and the Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists of Arizona PAC ($500).

Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.

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