Arizona Republican Jim Lamon and Wisconsin Democrat Alex Lasry bested their party-primary rivals in fundraising last quarter thanks to personal loans from the candidates that made up the vast majority of all they raised from April through June.
Lasry's $7 million haul came thanks in no small part to a $6.5 million loan from the candidate, an executive with the Milwaukee Bucks basketball team. To put that loan in perspective, all of his Democratic primary rivals combined raised about $4 million over that same period (Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes led the rest of the field with $2.1 million).
And in Lamon's case, the businessman loaned his campaign $1 million of the $1.2 million he raised last quarter. Blake Masters, who is endorsed by former President Trump and works for billionaire Peter Thiel, raised $828,000; state Attorney General Mark Brnovich raised $527,000; and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael “Mick” McGuire raised $348,000.
The big loans underscore how much of an advantage a candidate's independent wealth can be, as having deep pockets largely plays dividends. Lamon's campaign operation has spent $13 million so far, more than his rivals combined, while Lasry's campaign has spent almost $15 million so far and also outspent all his rivals combined.
That said, money is just one piece of the puzzle — it's not always what propels a campaign to victory. Big self-funders in Ohio all lost the GOP Senate primary to JD Vance a few months back, and hedge fund executive David McCormick lost Pennsylvania's Senate primary to Mehmet Oz in a race where both men lent their campaign millions.