Eight Republicans and six Democrats are filed as 2020 candidates for the three Arizona Corporation Commission seats up this November, but a review of the campaign finance reports filed by the candidates reveals that none of them are doing well on the fundraising front and only one Republican and one Democrat is even close to the pace required.
Most of the candidates are running under Arizona’s Clean Elections public financing system, which requires them to collect 1,500 valid $5 contributions from registered voters. That means most candidates will collect at least 1,700 $5 contributions in order to have an appropriate “cushion.” In return for filing the required number, they will receive $116,016 for the primary and the primary winners will then receive an additional $174,024 for the general election.
But even collecting that relatively small amount of money might not occur for most current candidates based on their fundraising reports.
For the Republican candidates running “Clean,” current Commissioner Lea Marquez Peterson reports collecting 521 $5 contributions, 2018 candidate Eric Sloan collected 359, campaign operative Kim Owens collected 224, former candidate Nick Myers collected 75, and first-time candidate Patrick Tucker collected just 41.
On the Democrat side, former Commissioner and 2018 candidate Bill Mundell reports 568 $5 contributions collected, Shea Stanfield reported 398, and Avondale Mayor Anna Tovar reported just 24.
Nor are the traditionally funded candidates faring very well. On the Republican side, State Senator David Farnsworth leads the pack with just $6,729.46 cash on hand, current Commissioner Boyd Dunn shows $4,778.24, and Neil DeSanti brings up the rear with $187.03.
For the Democrats there isn’t much to report. John Dougherty has $20 and Bridget Bellavigna showed $0 raised.
With ballots going out in early July and the $5 approval process usually taking 2-3 weeks, candidate will be pressing very hard to collect the contributions needed. It seems unlikely they will all make it, leaving voters with very little information available from very few candidates for this important office.