Candidates for Mayor of Tucson in 2019: From left, Ed Ackerley, Randi Dorman, Steve Farley and Regina Romero.

Spending in the race to be Tucson's next mayor and for open seats on the council has already broken previous local fundraising totals.

An estimated $1.5 million in total funds has been raised by various campaigns days before the primary Aug. 27, and well before the general election in November.

The actual figure for spending is likely a little bit higher, mostly because of the delay between money being raised and spent and election reporting deadlines.

Political action committees are spending money like water. One Phoenix-based PAC sent expensive, glossy mailers to city — and county residents who can't vote in the primary —last week attacking mayoral candidate and former state senator Steve Farley.

The high profile three-way race to the Democratic nominee for mayor accounts for a majority of the $1.5 million in election spending so far.

Being the mayor of Tucson pays $42,000 a year.

City taxpayers have chipped in $209,860 in the race thanks to the city's voter-approved public matching program. Referred to as the clean election program by some candidates, the money comes out of the city's general fund. That pot of money also is used to pay for things like parks, street repairs and for the police and fire departments.

A total of five candidates participated in the program, but more than half - $118,592 - went to mayoral candidate Regina Romero's campaign.

To date, Farley has raised $262,663 and developer Randi Dorman has raised $193,318 from private donors. Romero, a three-term member of the city council, has raised $240,924 thru a mix of private donations and matching funds.

The reports outline candidate spending through Aug. 10.

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Candidates running for mayor and Ward 1, which mostly covers the city's west side, are expected to burn through their campaign war chests this weekend. That's because the mail-in primary election is Tuesday. It will decide the Democratic nominee in both races.

The Democratic nominees in city races are considered front-runners because the city has a 2-to-1 registration advantage over Republicans.

The winner of the three-way race Democratic mayoral primary will face independent Ed Ackerley in the general in November. Independents - those not registered with any party - are wild cards in that political calculation, though the city of Tucson has not elected an independent as mayor since at least 1929.

The only other contested primary is in Ward 1, where Democrats Rob Elias, Sami Hamed, Miguel Ortega and Lane Santa Cruz are running to take Romero's seat.

It is unclear if the winner in the Democratic race for Ward 1 will have challenger in November.

GOP write-in candidate Sam Nagy needs at least 84 Republican's living in Ward 1 to return ballots to the city with his name on it to qualify for the general election ballot.