Wendy Rogers raises record-breaking $2.5 million for Arizona Leg re-election
Posted Jan 14, 2022 4:39am
The most impressive tally of donations in the 2022 election cycle belongs not to a gubernatorial candidate or US Senate candidate, but to a first-term state senator seeking re-election.
Sen. Wendy Rogers, a Flagstaff Republican who has made herself a national figure by falsely claiming the 2020 election was rigged against former President Donald Trump, announced Thursday that she had nearly 2, Raised $5 million. According to online campaign funding records dating back to 2002, the figure is a new law record, surpassing the mark set by Rogers himself in 2020.
The majority of Rogers’ contributions are under $100 and come from abroad. Rogers tweeted that she had received contributions from more than 40,000 people.
Rogers has spent nearly $900,000 and has nearly $1.6 million available through election year.
Since her election to the Senate in 2020, Rogers, a retired US Air Force pilot who has risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel, has become a mainstay in the national pro-Trump circuit. She has become a leader in the movement, which is making false claims that voter fraud cost him his re-election and sponsored the so-called “audit” that Senate Speaker Karen Fann initiated over the 2020 Maricopa County election.
She often draws attention with her combative style and outlandish statements and actions, such as calling for a return of McCarthyism, attending a convention to promote the QAnon movement, and warning about the “grand replacement,” one Conspiracy theory popular among white supremacists claims white Americans are being deliberately replaced by non-white immigrants.
Rogers went on a national tour last year to promote Trump’s baseless conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen. Trump has backed her campaign.
After a decade of unsuccessful campaigning, Rogers finally won her first elected office in 2020, ousting incumbent Republican Senator Sylvia Allen in the GOP primary and winning a hotly contested general election in her northern Arizona-based legislative district. She lost her first campaign for the state senate in 2010 and lost four straight congressional races in the following eight years.
In her 2020 Senate campaign, Rogers became the first parliamentary nominee in Arizona history to raise $1 million, a mark she broke in 2021. Few Arizona statewide candidates have ever raised as much as Rogers for her first campaign for Senate re-election. Before the 2022 election cycle, only six state-level candidates in Arizona had ever raised that much for their entire campaigns.
In that election cycle, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, the frontrunner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, raised $2.9 million, and Republican gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson raised $3.7 million, half of which was her own money. Republican gubernatorial hopeful Steve Gaynor announced he raised $5 million last year, but his campaign refused to say how much of it came from the wealthy businessman himself.
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission moved Rogers to the new District 7, which runs from southern Flagstaff through Gila County and into eastern Pinal County. She is now in the same district as her Republican Senator, Kelly Townsend, who lives in Apache Junction and is fueling what may be the hottest legislative race of 2022.
Rogers may not have to face Townsend in the primary, however. Townsend filed papers with the Federal Electoral Commission to run in the new 6th congressional district. Townsend has not yet submitted an expression of interest to the Secretary of State’s office, which she must do before collecting signatures to get her name on the 6th Circuit ballot.
Townsend would not confirm which office she is running for. She told the Arizona Mirror that she will have more information about her plans on Monday.
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