The campaign to recall Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling took an unexpected turn as challenger Sandy Pasch reported raising far more in July than her rival.
Pasch, a Democrat from Whitefish Bay, still has far less money on hand, however, and overall has taken in less cash this year.
Reports filed Monday night with the state Government Accountability Board show that Pasch raised $190,903 in July, compared to Darling's $165,155.
To date, Darling has raised $1,123,574 to Pasch's $622,680, according to the reports.
Pasch reports having $216,439 on hand compared to Darling's $401,382 as the campaign enters its final week.
Despite trailing in overall money raised during the year, Pasch's campaign was upbeat about the latest numbers.
"This is just another example of how strong Sandy Pasch is in this race and how the voters of the 8th state Senate District are backing her support for education, defense of seniors and shared sacrifice from public employees to big corporations," said Gillian Morris, a spokeswoman for the campaign.
The Darling campaign could not be reached for comment late Monday.
The campaign will set a record as the most expensive legislative race in state history. The previous record was set in 2008, when Darling warded off a challenge by Sheldon Wasserman, a Democrat who held an Assembly. Wasserman, who lost by about 1,000 votes, spent $722,000 compared to Darling's $479,000.
The reports do not include spending that is being done by outside organizations supporting both candidates.
The race is close.
A poll conducted by the for the Daily Kos website reported last week that Darling was leading 52 percent to 47 pcercent among likely voters with 1 percent undecided. Another poll done by the for the Democrats was released a week earlier had Pasch winning 47 percent to Darling's 46 percent.
Darling is one of six Republican senators that are subject to recall elections that will be held Aug. 9. Two Democratic senators will face challenges a week later. One Democrat already survived a recall election.
Control of the Senate is at stake. If the Democrats are up by three after the balloting is complete, they will take control of the Senate. The Republicans now control both chambers of the Legislature as well as the governor's office.