Rep. John Shadegg, R-Ariz., is feeling confident about his odds for re-election to a seventh term. Confident enough to donate a hefty chunk of his campaign war chest to GOP peers locked in tougher fights.
In Shadegg’s race against an inexperienced Democratic challenger to represent the north Valley, he most likely won’t need the $445,950 he’s transferred since July to the National Republican Congressional Committee. That, plus another $15,000 from his political action committee.
Not only does Shadegg hold a commanding lead in name recognition over Herb Paine in a solidly Republican district, Shadegg still has $117,000 on hand. That’s seven times more than Paine, according to campaign finance documents current through last week.
With the GOP’s majorities in the House and Senate at stake, every dollar could make a difference come Election Day. So, both parties are tapping the funds of candidates holding safe seats and senators who aren’t up for re-election this year. Some give willingly; others are being cajoled by activists and blogs into donating.
Shadegg’s total contribution to the Republican committee is the largest for any House member, according to Congressional Quarterly.
He’s also given about $168,000 to individual congressional campaigns in Arizona and elsewhere, finance records show. In his home state, Shadegg gave to Republican incumbents Rep. J.D. Hayworth and Rep. Rick Renzi and to Republican challengers Randy Graff and Ron Drake.
While this money has the practical effect of aiding other Republicans, these acts of intraparty charity also are investments in Shadegg’s future.
Earlier this year, Shadegg sought to be named House Majority Leader after Tom DeLay stepped down.
Although Shadegg lost out, he could very well hold a high rank during the next session, especially if the embattled Republicans feel they need new blood at the top.
As the blog Red State recently said: “When leadership battles loom large after the election, let’s be sure to . . . remember who had (money) and refused to share. And let’s remember who had and gave willingly in the example of John Shadegg.”