SALT LAKE CITY — A Republican challenger to Utah Sen. Mike Lee has raised more than a half-million dollars since entering the race in late May.
Former state legislator Becky Edwards took in $504,881 for the quarter ended June 30, according to her Federal Election Commission report. More than half the total — $275,000 — came out of Edwards' own pocket.
Contributions came from 269 individual donors, including Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid and his wife, Tammy, who gave $17,400 between them. The filing shows 83% of donations came from Utahns, and about two-thirds of the contributions were under $200.
Edwards said the support the campaign has received so far shows that voters are eager to have a better option in 2022.
"Hitting our goals is an important part of our campaign," she said. "And it requires building lasting coalitions, acting on promises, and supporting a vision of collaboration, productivity, and balance for our future."
Lee has sent a flurry of fundraising emails since the first of the year, including a mid-month plea saying he is short of his goal.
"I know it's getting late, but I wanted to reach out to you really quick," the emails say. "Will you pitch in $5 or $10 and help me hit my target? The only way I can win and defeat the Democrats radical agenda is with your help."
A two-term incumbent,Lee attended a reelection fundraiser at former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida in February. The fundraising dinner hosted by prominent Republican donors cost $10,600 per person.
Lee's latest FEC report shows second quarter contributions at just over $1 million. He has collected money from more than 3,000 Utah donors so far this year and has a total of nearly $1.7 million in his campaign account.
A number of conservative organizations have donated to Lee, the Senate Conservatives Fund and the Club for Growth, which has run attack ads against Edwards and Ally Isom, a Republican who entered the race this month. GOP Texas Sen. John Cornyn gave Lee $70,000 from his PAC. Other contributors to Lee include T-Mobile, Walmart, Microsoft, Koch Industries and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
Lee spent $5.5 million on his 2016 reelection.
Isom, former deputy chief of staff for Gov. Gary Herbert, filed her candidacy after the second quarter campaign finance reporting period.
A Democratic challenger has yet to register as a candidate with the FEC.