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Sinema’s speech turbocharges main challenge buzz

Sinema’s speech added fuel to the fire. The Primary Sinema PAC, dedicated to being removed from office in 2024, told Morning Score it was on course to hit its biggest fundraising day on Thursday, although a spokesperson did not not say how much money he actually raised after his speech.

Overall, the PAC has raised $250,000 since its launch in late September, the group first shared with Score. Primary Sinema PAC has received an additional $400,000 in seed money from progressive donor group Way to Win. The PAC also issued a memo on Thursday saying there was “no excuse for Sinema’s obstruction.” (The money it raises doesn’t go to any particular candidate, but “rather will go to support grassroots groups on the ground in Arizona who are leading the fight to hold Sinema accountable,” according to its website.)

Meanwhile, another push to recruit Gallego into the Senate race indicates he’s seen an uptick in fundraising after Sinema and Gallego’s speeches. The editorial board of Run Ruben Run saw three times the number of contributions it averaged over the past month and four times its daily average, but declined to share dollar amounts.

Gallego itself has taken steps to present itself in recent months, including hiring fundraiser Taylor Hennings, consulting with national donors and conducting surveys. Currently holding a secure seat in Phoenix, Gallego has had little incentive to raise funds in the past; he only had $786,000 in campaign money on hand at the end of last September, his most recent disclosure. Sinema had $4.5 million in his war chest as of September 30.

The Sinema and Gallego campaigns did not respond to a request for comment.

Sinema took the heat on Thursday of the leader of his state’s Democratic Party. “We are disappointed to say the least that Senator Sinema chose to protect an archaic rule over her constituents,” Arizona State Democratic Party Chair Raquel Terán said in a statement.

The Arizona lawmaker could be vulnerable to a primary challenge. A Data For Progress poll in October found that 70 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in Arizona disapproved of Sinema’s job performance, while only 25 percent approved of him.

Sinema’s fallout was not limited to Arizona. Some Liberal Senate candidates in other states, like Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and former Rep. Abby Finkenauer of Iowa, have used Sinema’s speech to tout the good faith of their own progressives. Fetterman said in a statement that “Democrats must vote like Democrats,” while Finkenauer called Sinema a “sellout.”

Tara Palmeri contributed to this report.


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