A new filing with the Federal Election Commission shows that Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) has spent $221,090.32 on various security expenses in the 4th quarter of 2022.
Most congressional campaigns spend little, if any, campaign funds on security expenses. But the FEC in 2021 ruled that campaigns may spend their donors cash on private security guards, and several prominent candidates have done just that, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Raphael Warnock (D-GA), who've spent well into the tens of thousands of dollars, according to FEC records.
However, spending almost a quarter of a million dollars in one quarter is a large amount of money for security. In 2021, the highest-spending member of Congress on security, Raphael Warnock, spent $605,900 for the entire year, and Ted Cruz spent $364,000 in that same period; most other members who use campaign money for security spend far less than even that.
Much of Sinema's expense stems from the travel and lodging costs of security officials traveling with her. However, the Sinema campaign also appears to have spent $71,149.12 on a dedicated vehicle for security to use on October 24.
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Sinema, as a controversial figure who voted or negotiated against Democrats on key issues even prior to leaving the party, was a frequent target of harassment and threats, with Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) even saying she received death threats following her vote against increasing the minimum wage.
In a highly publicized incident in 2021, a protester followed Sinema into a bathroom while filming her. The senator has also faced harassment from stalkers.
Sinema has not made clear whether she intends to run for another term in 2024. Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, a former Marine who represents the Phoenix area, announced his campaign to run earlier this month.