Democrat Murphy raises $1 million in third quarter in race against Rep. West

A release issued by Murphy's campaign says this tally makes him one of the top three Democratic challengers nationwide in terms of fundraising.

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He faces West's considerable financial muscle, however — the incumbent had just over $3 million cash on hand and had raised more than $10 million at the close of the last fundraising period, in July. West has used those funds to launch a barrage of ads against Murphy, most recently one that used Murphy's mug shot from his 2003 arrest for a bar brawl.

But Democratic outside groups are spending in the 18th district as well on ads hammering West. The new fundraising total could shed some light on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's recent decision to cancel a week of airtime in the state — it seems Murphy could have solid enough financial footing that the group believes its money could be better spent elsewhere.

And House Majority PAC recently increased its investment in the district to $1.5 million. The Democratic group also released a poll on Monday showing Murphy ahead of West by 9 percentage points.

In a statement from Murphy's campaign, his finance director, Shelby Scarpa, said the total "far exceeded expectations." Murphy called it "our most successful fundraising period to date."

“This underscores the fact that the people of Florida’s 18th district are fed up with the extremism that Allen West has brought to Congress," he said in the statement.

Murphy also has over $400,000 cash on hand and has made "several large tv buys" for the final four weeks of the campaign, Murphy spokesperson Erin Moffet said.

West's campaign declined to release their fundraising tally, but campaign manager Tim Edson suggested in an email to The Hill that the incumbent had outpaced Murphy.

"Once Patrick Murphy sees Allen West’s FEC numbers he’ll have to beg his daddy for more money and release another phony poll to try to convince Washington liberals to keep funding his pathetic campaign," he said, a reference to the $250,000 contributed by Murphy's father to a PAC backing Murphy earlier in the campaign cycle.

--This post was published at 3:46 and updated at 4:03 p.m.