Mark Kelly raises $11 million, Martha McSally $6 million for Senate race

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2020, file photo, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Mark Kelly of Arizona speaks to workers sorting donated items at a Goodwill distribution center in Phoenix. Democrat Mark Kelly has again trounced Republican Sen. Martha McSally in fundraising for Arizona's Senate race. Kelly's campaign said Tuesday, April 14, 2020, he raised $11 million during the three-month period that ended March 31. (AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper, File)

Democrat Mark Kelly has again trounced Republican U.S. Sen. Martha McSally in fundraising for Arizona’s Senate race, announcing Tuesday that he raised $11 million in the first quarter of 2020.

Kelly, a retired astronaut and first-time candidate, said he had just under $20 million in the bank at the end of March.

McSally’s campaign says she raised $6 million during the first quarter and ended March with just over $10 million left to spend.

It was the best fundraising quarter of the race so far for both candidates. Millions more have been spent by outside groups trying to influence one of the most closely watched Senate races of 2020, which will help determine control of Congress next year.

The second-quarter fundraising figures, set for release in July, will show whether the economic collapse precipitated by the coronavirus has slowed the flow of cash to the candidates. McSally has pledged to donate all of the money her campaign collects in the first two weeks of April to the Salvation Army.

McSally took office last year after she was appointed to the seat left empty when Sen. John McCain died. Democrats see the seat as a prime pickup opportunity after McSally lost a 2018 race for the state’s other Senate seat to Kyrsten Sinema, the first Democrat to win a Senate contest in Arizona in three decades.

Arizona has shown promise for Democrats, who now control five of nine U.S. House districts and several statewide offices.

Polls indicate a close contest between McSally and Kelly. Both are former combat pilots who live in Tucson. Before her 2018 Senate run, McSally represented the Arizona House district previously represented by Kelly’s wife, Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in an attempted assassination in 2011.

Republished with the permission of the Associated Press.