It might be nine months before the general election, but there is already a whole lot of people backing Raúl Grijalva’s bid for another term in Congress.
More than 100 people gave to his re-election campaign committee, A Whole Lot of People for Grijalva, last year. Those donations were part of the $280,119 the Democratic incumbent raised, helping to refuel his campaign coffers.
During the political offseason, Grijalva took in more from political action committees — $155,968 — compared to $123,770 from individuals.
However, he spent even more during last year, telling the Federal Election Commission he used $197,381 to campaign in Congressional District 3.
It still leaves him with $118,826 in his war chest over his only declared rival, a local teacher, author and artist named Edna San Miguel.
San Miguel, who announced she would challenge Grijalva as a Republican candidate, did not report any funds raised last year to the FEC.
James Villarreal, a Raytheon employee who has a doctorate in aerospace engineering and teaches at the University of Arizona, recently filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee that could challenge Grijalva in the Democratic primary.
However, Villarreal filed the paperwork last month, and did not collect any donations.
This week, Grijalva sent a new fundraising email to donors offering one lucky donor who gave at least $25 to his campaign a doodle from his sketchbook.
“I don’t want to toot my own horn, but my art has been discussed everywhere from The Nation to friendly Twitter feeds, and now’s your chance to get your hands on an original,” he wrote to supporters.