Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh raised more than $1 million during the first three months of her run for U.S. Senate, her campaign said Wednesday, as it tries to fortify her position in the Democratic primary.
Arkoosh had about $625,000 in her campaign account as of June 30, suggesting she spent about a third of what she raised. None of the fund-raising came in the form of loans from Arkoosh to her campaign, a spokesperson said.
A report on the full details of her fund-raising and spending is due later this month.
Democratic insiders have been eagerly anticipating Arkoosh’s initial report as they size up her standing in a competitive 2022 primary field. While money alone isn’t the decisive factor in politics, it’s an important element and often viewed as a tangible measure of candidate strength.
Her haul from April, when she joined the race, through June lags well behind the $3.9 million that Lt. Gov. John Fetterman posted in his first three months as a Senate candidate earlier this year. He had $1.9 million in his campaign account as of March 31, when the previous reporting quarter ended.
But Arkoosh’s total eclipses the $374,000 that State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta of Philadelphia showed in his initial report, also dating to March 31. (He had a shorter window for fund-raising, having entered the race part way through the last period.)
U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb, a Democrat from the Pittsburgh suburbs who is widely expected to join the Senate race in the coming months, had $1.1 million on hand as of March 31. He had raised $411,000 in the first quarter of the year, though as a House candidate. (That money can be transferred to a future Senate campaign.)
“It’s clear from Val’s first quarter in the race that Pennsylvanians are responding to her commitment to tackling the issues most important to them — making their child care and prescription drugs more affordable, making sure they have a job coming out of this pandemic, and finally rebuilding our infrastructure,” Arkoosh campaign manager Tiernan Donohue said in a statement.
She called the initial support “a significant down payment on a successful campaign.”
Arkoosh leads Pennsylvania’s third-largest county and is the only well-established woman in the Democratic primary. But there are questions about how widely she’s known, something significant campaign spending could help address.
Along with her own campaign cash, Arkoosh can count on support from EMILY’s List, a Democratic women’s group that has endorsed her and often spends heavily in primaries.
Full reports on every candidate’s fund-raising and spending are due by mid-July.
Pennsylvania’s Senate race is one of the most highly anticipated in the country, with the potential to decide control of the chamber. The incumbent Republican, Sen. Pat Toomey, is not seeking reelection.