Congressional candidate Abe Hamadeh released his fundraising for Q4, 2023, and the headline. The headline, “Abe Hamadeh Boasts Nearly $1.3 Million War Chest in Support of AZ-08 Race,” references an eye-popping number, while the details are a bit more nuanced.
“Since launching his campaign in October 2023, for Arizona’s 8th, the Abe for AZ campaign has raised $290K, with Arizona’s Bold Era PAC raising an additional $1 million to support Abe Hamadeh in the August 6 primary.”
Arizona Globe was first to report that Ben Toma, also running for Congress in CD8, has raised “well over $300,000,” so that puts the campaigns of these two candidates, net of any supportive PACs, on roughly equal footing.
Nearly $1.3 million raised since we launched our campaign. I want to thank my incredible team and all of my supporters — I couldn’t do this without you. Let’s go rescue the America we love. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/iwOJKJHwUC
— Abe Hamadeh (@AbrahamHamadeh) January 10, 2024
The $1 million raised by Arizona’s Bold Era seems to have mainly come from the candidate’s brother Waseem Hamadeh, who was also supportive of his race for attorney general, having loaned that campaign $1 million in Q1 of 2002. That race ended – or maybe hasn’t ended quite yet — in a razor thin, controversial loss of only 280 votes.
In a sign of what might turn into a really ugly race, what the Globe presumes to be political opponents of Hamadeh have already built a rudimentary website designed to tar not just the candidate but his brother. The Globe is declining to feature the URL of that site, and the accusations it raises are so serious that one has to imagine the state’s libel lawyers are already licking their chops. Going after the family of a candidate is a repellant tactic and one that will hopefully backfire on all who pursue it. (And that’s the founding belief of this site regardless of the political affiliation of the target or his pursuers.)
Federal election law prevents campaign from coordinating strategy with PACs that support them, though the reality is that the permanently under-funded FEC almost never enforces its own regulations. We’ve seen the Super PAC supporting Ron DeSantis actually running the campaign’s get out the vote operation, apparently with no consequences.
Still, one doesn’t normally see a press release from a campaign touting both its own amount raised and the amount raised by supposedly independent PACs. This is the sewer of American money in politics, and we all have to play in it.
Regardless, it’s an impressive raise by any stretch, especially for a race so loaded with candidates, and one that emerged unexpectedly with the surprise announcement in mid October by incumbent, Debbie Lesko, that she would not be seeking reelection.
As the press release notes, Hamadeh has been endorsed by several national and local figures of note, most importantly the enthusiastic support of former president Donald Trump. Depending on how the presidential primary proceeds, it will certainly help Hamadeh to appear on a ballot at the same time as the former president come August 6th, when the primary is held.
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