Anti-Pharma Dem Ruben Gallego Took Thousands In Campaign Cash From Drug Companies

(Photo by Rebecca NOBLE / AFP) (Photo by REBECCA NOBLE/AFP via Getty Images)

Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
Font Size:

Democratic Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego has accepted thousands of dollars in donations from individuals and political action committees (PACs) associated with major pharmaceutical companies and the healthcare industry despite frequently criticizing both, a Daily Caller review found.

Gallego, who is running for Senate against Independent Kyrsten Sinema, frequently blasts the former Democrat for her opposition to single-payer healthcare and perceived closeness with the pharmaceutical industry. However, Gallego’s campaign has accepted more than $30,000 from pharmaceutical company PACs since his first run for Congress, with the health sector providing the fourth-largest source of funds for his 2022 reelection bid.

Since his initial 2014 run for the House, Gallego has accepted $31,500 from political action committees associated with pharmaceutical companies. Notably, he took cash from Bristol Myers Squibb and Eli Lilly, two firms that congressional Democrats have accused of price-gouging. At the same time, however, Gallego blasted Sinema for initially opposing a price-fixing scheme that Democrats fought to include in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Kyrsten Sinema blocked key provisions for negotiating the cost of prescription drugs in the Inflation Reduction Act. Sinema’s support for Big Pharma over seniors on a fixed income makes her unfit to lead Arizona,” Gallego tweeted in April.

“Senator Sinema is calling herself an ‘independent’ now. Well she’s not independent from Wall St, Big Pharma, or their pricey lobbyists,” he claimed after she left the Democratic Party. (RELATED: Dem Senate Candidate Obtained Special Mortgage For D.C. Home Despite Claiming Arizona As His Primary Residence)

The Gallego campaign did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment on whether or not he would return any campaign donations from pharmaceutical companies or employees. He also accepted more than $85,000 from individuals employed in the health sector during the 2022 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.

Despite running as a left-wing populist alternative to the centrist Sinema, Gallego’s Senate campaign has accepted cash from industries that he often criticizes. During the first quarter of 2023, he accepted more than $106,000 from employees of big banks and other major corporations. Gallego raised more money from lawyers than any other profession during Q1 of 2023.

Overall, Gallego raised more than $3.7 million in Q1 of 2023, and has more than $2.7 million on hand. Sinema raised $2.1 million in Q1 of 2023, and has more than $9.9 million on hand.

A series of surveys conducted by Public Policy Polling in April found Gallego leading a series of contests with Sinema and potential Republican candidates. In a matchup with former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, Gallego would garner 42%, Lake 35%, and Sinema 14%. Against Pinal County sheriff Mark Lamb or businessman Jim Lamon, Gallego would similarly hold 43% support, while Sinema would gather 15% and 16% respectively.