Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Bee steps up fundraising pace

Citizen Staff Writer



Republican Tim Bee on Tuesday reported raising more than $752,000 to date in his bid to unseat incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords for the Congressional District 8 seat in November.

Bee, president of the Arizona Senate, trails Giffords, who recently reported raising more than $1.9 million in cash since she took office in 2006.

But Bee’s latest financial statement showed the Republican raised more than $465,000 during the first quarter of 2008.

That’s just shy of the $471,000 Giffords reported during that same period.

“The support has been amazing and strengthens my resolve,” Bee said Tuesday.

The most recent fundraising period included a January visit to Tucson from Karl Rove, former chief strategist for President George W. Bush, to a Republican fundraiser attended by area GOP loyalists with histories of contributing generously to Republican candidates.

That fundraiser was for the Pima County Republican Party, not Bee as a single candidate, said Tom Dunn, Bee’s campaign communications director.

Former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes will come to town Friday for a fundraiser for Bee, Dunn said.

The big GOP names indicate that the National Republican Committee wants to bring District 8 back into the party’s column after Giffords won the seat two years ago.

Before that, it was held by Rep. Jim Kolbe, who retired after 11 two-year terms in the House.

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