McMahon up to $14M of self-funding in Conn. Senate race

Linda McMahon is well on her way to spending $30-50 million on the Connecticut Senate race.

The Republican former WWE CEO's campaign announced Thursday that she self-funded another $8 million in the first quarter, bringing her total out-of-pocket expenses to $14 million. She raised $37,000 and had $4.3 million cash on hand for her GOP primary bid in the race to replace retiring Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.).

McMahon has previously said she could spend $30 or $50 million on the race.

The likely Democratic nominee, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, previously announced that he raised $1.9 million and banked $1.6 million in his first quarter as a candidate. Blumenthal took over for Dodd when Dodd announce he would not seek reelection earlier this year.

McMahon's GOP primary opponents, former Rep. Rob Simmons and investment banker Peter Schiff, have yet to announce their first-quarter totals.

UPDATE 2:15 p.m.: Simmons's campaign says (buried in a memo) that it raised $550,000 and has $1.4 million in the bank. It's Simmons's worst full quarter of the cycle, and his campaign blames the lower profile the race has taken on since Dodd's retirement.


Carnahan ramps up fundraising in Missouri Senate race, outraises Blunt $1.5M to $1.3M

Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D) kicked her fundraising operation into high gear in the first quarter, raising $1.5 million for her Senate campaign.

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), meanwhile, announced via Facebook that he raised $1.3 million. It is the first time since the first quarter of 2009 in which Carnahan has outraised Blunt over a three-month period.

Carnahan announced the total, which is her best since launching her campaign, in an e-mail to supporters. Her campaign separately told The Hill that it raised its cash on hand from $2.1 million to $2.8 million.

"I'm so pleased to let you know that we're filing our quarterly fundraising report today and we finished strong -- in fact, we raised nearly $1.5 million in the first quarter of 2010!" The most we have ever raised in a single quarter to date," she wrote. "What a terrific grassroots team effort. I can't tell you how humbled and honored I am to have your support and support from all across Missouri, in every county."

Blunt maintains a $3.5 million to $2.8 million advantage in cash on hand. Blunt outraised Carnahan handily last quarter, pulling in $1.3 million compared to $877,000 for the secretary of state.

Carnahan is likely to face Blunt in the general election to replace retiring Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.).

Updated at 1:18 p.m.: The initial totals for last quarter failed to include money raised for a joint fundraising committee.


Sen. Bennett's GOP opponents banking money

Utah attorney Mike Lee (R) raised $115,000 and self-funded $20,000 in the first quarter for his primary campaign against Sen. Robert Bennett (R-Utah), his campaign told The Hill on Wednesday.

Lee, who got in the race at the start of the first quarter and is seen by insiders as an attractive alternative to Bennett, had $85,000 in the bank at the end of March.

Lee is one of several Republicans hoping to unseat Bennett at the state GOP convention on May 8. If Bennett survives the convention with at least 40 percent of the vote, he and another candidate will go to a June primary.

Another Republican running against Bennett, former congressional candidate Tim Bridgewater, raised $20,000 in the first quarter. But thanks to an additional $30,000 loan (he has now self-funded $300,000 total), he had $258,000 in the bank.

Bennett, activist Cherilyn Eagar and former Rep. Merrill Cook (R-Utah) have yet to announce their totals.


Self-funder goes big in N.H. GOP Senate primary

Businessman Bill Binnie plugged another $1.7 million of his own money into the New Hampshire GOP Senate primary in the first quarter.

The money brings his total investment in the race to nearly $3 million and serves notice that the frontrunner Republican, former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, will almost surely be outspent in the primary.

Binnie's campaign also raised $400,000 for the quarter, bringing its total receipts to $2.1 million for the quarter and $3.7 million overall.

Ayotte raised about $1.2 million through the end of the year. She has not released first-quarter totals.

On the Democratic side, Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) has raised close to $3 million for the race, including $655,000 in the first quarter.


Hodes raised $665K to start 2010

Rep. Paul Hodes's (D-N.H.) Senate campaign has seen its fundraising dip slightly from the last quarter of 2009, but it still pulled in a decent $665,000 in the first quarter of 2010.

Hodes's campaign said it entered this month with $1.7 million in the bank.

He has been raising money stride-for-stride with GOP favorite and former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte, who has yet to announce her first-quarter totals.

Ayotte faces a primary, though, and a pair of self-funders have already banked $1 million for the race. Businessman Bill Binnie raised $400,000 in the first quarter and previously self-funded more than $1 million, while businessman Jim Bender loaned his campaign $400,000 last quarter, raised $100,000 and had $1 million cash on hand.


Lincoln raised $1.3M in first quarter, spent $2M

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) wasn't outraised in the first quarter by as much as previously thought, but she did spend heavily.

Lincoln's campaign just came out with some more specific numbers. It turns out she raised more than $1.3 million (versus the "more than $1 million" previously reported) and has $4.3 million on hand. Lincoln's cash on hand dropped by about $700,000, meaning she spent heavily -- about $2 million -- defending herself in the primary.

Lt. Gov. Bill Halter (D), who is challenging Lincoln in a primary, raised $2 million in the first quarter. He raised that amount in a shorter time period, though, having entered the race late in the quarter.

Republican frontrunners Rep. John Boozman (R-Ark.) and state Sen. Gilbert Baker have yet to announce their first quarter totals.


Giannoulias raised $1.2 million in first quarter, trails Kirk

Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) turned in his best fundraising quarter of the cycle so far, but he still raised about $1 million less than GOP opponent Mark Kirk in the Illinois Senate race.

Giannoulias's campaign just announced it raised $1.2 million in the first quarter in an e-mail to supporters. It's about twice what he raised last quarter, but it pales in comparison to Kirk's $2.2 million first quarter, which the congressman announced last week.

Kirk, who faced a less serious primary challenge, is also set to be in much better financial position for the general election, as he announced $3 million cash on hand. Giannoulias's campaign has not announced a cash on hand figure, but it was burning through serious cash to make it through a primary with former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman in February, and it had less than $1 million on hand at the end of the year.

Giannoulias beat Hoffman 39-34. Since then, the Democratic nominee has dealt with a series of problems stemming from his family bank, which is on the brink of failure and, according to the Chicago Tribune, lent $20 million to a pair of convicted felons.


Rep. Grayson has another $800k quarter

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) has given his opponents plenty of ammunition, but he's also going to have plenty of his own -- in monetary form.

The outspoken liberal congressman from a swing Orlando district announced Tuesday that he raised $803,000 in the first quarter of 2010, including nearly $500,00 during a one-day "moneybomb" in March.

Grayson also raised about $830,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009, giving him a nearly unheard-of back-to-back $800,000 quarters. The last haul came after Grayson made comments on the House floor that Republicans who opposed the healthcare bill wanted Americans to "die quickly." Since then, he has become a national liberal icon who has tapped his renown to raise gobs of money.

"This is what people power looks like," he said.

Grayson's campaign said he now has more than $1.5 million on hand.

One of Grayson's GOP opponents, businessman Bruce O'Donoghue, announced earlier this month that he had raised $300,000 for the quarter.


Coats taps 14 former Senate colleagues for fundraiser

Former Sen. Dan Coats (R-Ind.) is hitting up his former colleagues as he attempts a return to the Senate.

Coats was slated Monday night to hold a fundraiser in Washington headlined by a whopping 14 former senators -- most who have other business in Washington.

The host list for Coats's Monday reception at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse was slated to include former Sens. Spencer Abraham (Mich.), Trent Lott (Miss.), John Ashcroft (Mo.), Connie Mack (Fla.), Norm Coleman (Miss.), Mel Martinez (Fla.), Bob Dole (Kan.), Don Nickles (Okla.), Pete Domenici (N.M.), Rick Santorum (Pa.), Slade Gorton (Wash.), Gordon Smith (Ore.), Tim Hutchinson (Ark.) and John Warner (Va.).

That's two former Senate majority leaders, three former cabinet officials and several other recently departed former senators.

Suggested donations to Coats's Indiana Senate campaign were $2,500 per PAC and $2,400 per person to host, and $1,000 to attend.

UPDATE: Coats's campaign says Lott, Mack, Nickles, Hutchinson and Warner attended.


Rep. Ed Perlmutter challenger raised $230k in first quarter

Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier's (R) congressional campaign upped its fundraising slightly in the first quarter, pulling in $230,000 for his challenge to Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.).

Frazier narrowly outraised Perlmutter $219,000 to $215,000 in the fourth quarter of 2009 -- his first after switching from the state's Senate race to the congressional race. But this quarter, the incumbent got the better of Frazier, outraising him $330,000 to $230,000.

Perlmutter has $1.25 million in the bank. A cash on hand figure wasn't immediately available from Frazier.