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The actress Heather Thomas zapped CD1 hopeful Andrei Cherny with a $500 contribution earlier this year.

Money Sloshes Around CD1 House Race

Dems raise aggressively as incumbent Schweikert passes $1M mark

By Ken Kurson, October 16, 2023 4:02 pm

For political junkies, there’s a holiday, and it’s extra special because it comes four times a year. On the 15th or so of the four months following quarterly FEC filings, those with few social skills and lots of time pore through these lengthy PDFs, looking for insight. Sometimes there’s a surprisingly big haul that shows a candidate has momentum; often there’s a disappointing figure that reveals a candidate who is struggling.

But a lot of times, if you really dig, there’s just a bunch of funny things in there that make you wonder.

From the moment seven-term Republican Rep. David Schweikert was announced the winner last November, Democratic House hopefuls began jockeying for the chance to deny him an eighth term. That’s because Schweikert carried the district by only 3000 votes and Democrats hope a presidential year just might flip the seat.

Bernard L. Schwartz, former Chairman of Loral, sent LD1 hopeful Andrei Cherny $3300. (Photo: bernardlschwartz.com)

But Schweikert isn’t exactly going gently. The Congressman has taken in $1,354,746 so far this year and is now sitting on $801,569 with over a year to go til E-Day. Andrew Horne is in second place with $906,775 in receipts — about 80% of it donated by himself — and cash on hand of 797,735. Andrei Cherny’s Q3 numbers aren’t out yet, and neither are Dr. Amish Shah’s.

At the end of Q2, Democratic challenger Andrei Cherny had $557,554. A former Clinton speechwriter who became a criminal prosecutor and eventually Assistant Attorney General in Arizona, Cherny benefitted from his time heading the progressive financial firm Aspiration, based in Los Angeles. That may have played a role in Cherny’s haul including donations from prominent Golden State progressives, including double max donations ($3300 x 4 = $13,200) from Jeffrey Soros, the nephew of left-wing megadonor George Soros, and his wife Catherine Soros. Cherney also got $3300 from Beverly Hills macher Nicole Mutchnik, a board member of the Anti-Defamation League and $1500 from Brian Weinstein, the president of J.J. Abrams’ production company Bad Robot.

But perhaps the best Hollywood donation Cherny received came from Heather Thomas. The star of The Fall Guy and Zapped coughed up $500 to help Cherny across the finish line. Cherny cleaned up nicely on the East Coast, as well. Bernard Schwartz, former Chairman and CEO of Loral Space, gave him $6600.

The other CD1 Democrat hopefuls didn’t feature nearly as much interestingness. Well-heeled orthodontist Andrew Horne made four contributions to himself in the first two quarters totaling $750,000, but he didn’t add any more in Q3. And outside of his own dough, Horne has yet to excite the donor community. To date, he hasn’t received a single donation from Tucson and just a handful from Phoenix.

Kurt Kroemer, the former Red Cross executive, has also failed to excite the donor class, at least so far. He’s got over $142,000 cash on hand at the moment. But he’s also invested over $140,000 of his own money.

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Ken Kurson
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