Candidates for U.S. Congress, Arizona District 2. Top row, from left: Casey Welch, Billy Kovacs, Mary Matiella, Bruce Wheeler, Barbara Sherry, Matt Heinz. Bottom row, from left: Danny Morales, Yahya Yuksel, Ann Kirkpatrick, Lea Marquez Peterson, Brandon Martin.

When it comes to fundraising, the seven men and four women vying to replace Rep. Martha McSally can’t seem to keep up with her numbers from two years ago.

Combined, the 11 candidates in Congressional District 2 raised $857,392 between the beginning of April and the end of June, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. Two years ago during the same period, the then-freshman McSally raised $983,147 for her re-election campaign.

Former Flagstaff Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick, who moved to Tucson last year to challenge McSally, leads among both Republicans and Democrats vying for the open CD2 seat. McSally is running for the Senate.

Kirkpatrick, a three-term congresswoman, reported raising $356,324 from individuals and another $87,850 from various political action committees. The largest donation to her campaign — $34,000 — came from a joint fundraising PAC formed by Kirkpatrick and 14 other Democrats in high-profile races.

Kirkpatrick spent nearly as much as she raised during the three-month period, $463,037. The figure is more than three times the amount her nearest Democratic rival — emergency room physician Matt Heinz — spent during the same period.

Those dollars went to pay for Kirkpatrick’s first television ad, mailers and a number of consultants on her payroll. She ended the period with $836,928 in the bank as of June 30.

Heinz was the only other Democrat running in CD2 to raise a six-figure sum in the second quarter.

His campaign reported $81,219 in donations from individuals and another $19,000 from political action committees. Heinz also loaned his campaign $100,000, adding to the quarter of a million dollars he kicked in during the last political cycle.

Political newcomer Mary Matiella, a former assistant secretary of the Army, reported $45,772 in donations from individuals between April and June.

Small-business owner Billy Kovacs raised less than $8,716 in the second quarter, while former state Rep. Bruce Wheeler took in $4,450 in donations.

Cochise County rancher Barbara Sherry reported $325 in donations.

Local attorney Yahya Yuksel’s campaign filed a report with the FEC, but it contained severe errors including all expenses related to paid staffers who worked on the campaign.

Yuksel’s father, Edip, who is listed as the treasurer, pinned the error on an unidentified intern.

The Star is not reporting the figures as it is unclear how many errors are in the financial statement. Edip Yuksel said the campaign has submitted an updated report to the FEC, but it was not available at press time.

For Republicans, Lea Márquez Peterson, CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber, has a huge financial lead over her GOP rivals in the August primary.

Márquez Peterson took in $205,362 in donations between April and June, filings with the Federal Election Commission show. The figure includes a $20,000 loan that she gave to her campaign.

Her closest Republican rival, at least concerning fundraising, is contractor Brandon Martin, who raised $17,392 over the last three months.

Peace Corps veteran Casey Welch raised $5,537.84 in the second quarter.

Political newcomer Danny Morales Jr., a veteran and former member of the Douglas City Council, took in $4,095 in donations from individuals between April and June.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report ranks CD2 as competitive, but currently gives the edge to Democrats.


Tucson Democrat Rep. Raúl Grijalva has a massive fundraising lead over his two Republican rivals, raising a low six-figure sum in the last three months.

Grijalva’s re-election campaign committee, A Whole Lot of People for Grijalva, reported $117,831 in donations for the most recent election cycle.

He had $151,305 in his campaign coffers at the end of June.

By comparison, Grijalva’s political rivals raised less than $9,000 in the second quarter.

Former Army veteran Sergio Arellano, who jumped into the Congressional District 3 race last year as a Republican, reported raising $8,596 in the previous three months.

Local teacher Edna San Miguel reported raising $315 during the same time period.


Incumbent Rep. Tom O’Halleran has once again raised more from individuals than his three Republican rivals combined.

Recent reports show the former state lawmaker raised $406,006 over the last three months, with $133,400 coming from political action committees.

With no formal Democratic challenger, O’Halleran spent $165,634 on campaign activities in the last three months. The district includes part of northern Pima County.

On the Republican side, retired veteran Wendy Roger led in terms of fundraising, taking $177,252 in individual donations.

Republican Tiffany Shedd, a farmer and lawyer, raised $102,543 during the same time and loaned her campaign $9,000.

State Sen. Steve Smith brought in $73,202 in individual donations and $12,000 from political action committees.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at or 573-4197. On Twitter: @JoeFerguson


Reporter with the Arizona Daily Star. I cover politics as well as the city of Tucson and other municipalities in Southern Arizona.