/ Modified jul 16, 2012 3:12 p.m.

Barber, Kelly Spent $2.3M On CD8 Election

Kelly ends campaign $41K in debt; Barber owes nearly $2K

Democrat Ron Barber and Republican Jesse Kelly spent a combined $2.3 million trying to convince voters each was the better choice to serve the remainder of the Congressional District 8 term in Southern Arizona.

Both candidates in the June 12 election to fill the empty House seat ended the election with debt. Kelly was $41,127 in the red, while Barber owed a campaign staffer a little more than $1,800.

The latest campaign finance reports cover their fund raising and spending from May 24 through July 2.

Kelly raised $230,537 during the final reporting period for the special election cycle. He spent $294,518 in the same time. His campaign owes about $41,000 in debt, including $20,000 to a commercial production company.

Kelly’s campaign committee also owes money to campaign staffers, political consultants and the landlord for the campaign office.

During those final weeks of the campaign, and after the election when Barber turned his focus to the Aug. 28 regular primary election, Barber raised $332,829. As of the reporting deadline, he had $195,526 on hand going forward.

As in all campaigns, much of the candidates’ spending was on fund-raising and staff costs. Kelly spent $205,000 in the reporting period on expenses related to television commercials. Barber spent $384,970 on media production for television commercials.

These figures are for candidate fund-raising and spending only and do not include the money outside groups spent on the campaign.

One of those groups, Citizens United, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars airing ads opposing Barber to support Kelly. Kelly now works as a fund-raiser for the Washington, D.C.-based political organization.

Barber is running for reelection to what would be a full term in the U.S. House of Representatives. He faces state Rep. Matt Heinz in the Democratic Party primary.

In the second quarter of 2012, Heinz raised $33,755. He has $42,263 on hand going forward.

On the Republican side, Martha McSally raised $246,902 and has $134,571 on hand. She has $6,200 in debt. She lost the CD8 special election primary to Kelly and faces Mark Koskiniemi in the CD2 GOP primary at the end of August.

Koskiniemi has not filed a campaign finance report for this election cycle.

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