Jamiesfeast – Kari Lake managed to raise a higher amount of funds by contesting the outcome of her previous election compared to her recent campaign.
Kari Lake, who has been embraced by the MAGA movement, made a highly anticipated entrance into the Arizona Senate race last October. With a video cameo from Donald Trump himself, her campaign launch garnered significant attention. However, despite a strong start, Lake’s financial situation at the end of 2023 was less than ideal. In the approximately 11 weeks following her campaign announcement, she managed to raise $2 million. Unfortunately, a significant portion of that amount was quickly depleted, leaving her with limited funds remaining.
Starting 2024, she found herself with a little over $1 million in the bank, but also had a debt of $308,000.
The fundraising numbers of Democratic Senate candidate Natalie Lake are cause for concern as she enters the 2024 election year. Compared to her major competitors, Lake’s campaign is at a significant disadvantage. Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, who is undecided on a reelection bid, had a substantial $11 million in her campaign funds at the start of the year. Similarly, Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who announced his candidacy in January 2023, had nearly $7 million in his campaign coffers.
According to a representative from the Lake campaign, the debt is a result of invoices received towards the end of the quarter. However, they assure that it will be promptly repaid.
According to Garrett Ventry, senior adviser to Kari Lake, she has had an impressive fundraising quarter, surpassing many other GOP challengers. Ventry also mentioned that Lake has been successful in gaining support from Arizonans and has emerged as the clear frontrunner in the primary race. With her strong performance in recent polls, Lake is confident in her ability to secure a victory in the upcoming November election against her Democratic opponents.
Lake’s entry into federal politics came in the fourth quarter of 2023. Despite being a newcomer as a federal candidate, Lake is already a familiar face in Arizona and beyond. Her previous career as a local TV anchor has given her high name recognition, and she has also made a previous statewide run. Additionally, Lake has built a strong connection with a dedicated base of small-dollar MAGA donors, who have previously supported her fundraising efforts.
Lake was narrowly defeated in her campaign for Arizona governor in 2022 by Democrat Katie Hobbs. Despite the close margin, Lake vehemently disputed the election results and embarked on a prolonged legal battle, alleging that the race had been rigged against her. In her pursuit of justice, Lake managed to raise an impressive sum of over $2.5 million to fund her legal efforts.
During that unsuccessful campaign, she established strong connections with Trump and his allies and gained prominence within the far-right faction of the Republican Party. Lake served as a surrogate for Trump during his run for president, which led to speculation that she may be considered as a potential vice presidential candidate.
MAGA’s popularity failed to generate the desired fundraising results. Lake will have to raise a substantial amount in the coming months in order to stay competitive in what promises to be an exceedingly costly race.
Arizona plays a crucial role in the 2024 electoral battleground for various races on the ballot. Numerous external organizations are projected to invest millions of dollars, making a campaign’s financial position at this stage pivotal in setting the foundation for the expensive upcoming election.
Gallego holds a significant advantage over Lake in terms of cash-on-hand, with a six-fold difference. Additionally, he surpassed Lake’s fundraising efforts by an impressive margin of over $1 million. Gallego’s strong performance in the last quarter saw him raise $3.3 million, making it his second-highest fundraising quarter to date, only surpassed by his initial quarter. On the other hand, Sinema’s financial resources are even more substantial, with a war chest nearly ten times the size of Lake’s. However, Sinema’s fundraising quarter for the end of 2023 was comparatively weak, as she managed to raise just under $600,000.
During Lake’s Senate campaign, over $400,000 was allocated for various expenses linked to direct mail, with a significant portion of $285,000 being utilized for postage. Additionally, her campaign dedicated $93,000 towards fundraising consulting.