Nebraska Republican has financial edge over Sen. Nelson in first quarter

Nebraska Republican Jon Bruning announced he collected close to $1.5 million for his Senate run in the first quarter of 2011, which is almost $500,000 more than Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).

But Nelson's camp was quick to point out that $600,000 of that was money left over from Bruning's 2008 Senate bid.

Nelson announced this week that he raised slightly more than $1 million in the first three months of the year and, after spending $134,472, ended the quarter with $2,323,392.

“We are confident that this level of support is the first step in securing victory in the fall of 2012," Paul Johnson, Nelson's campaign manager, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Bruning finished the first quarter with $1,220,311 in the bank, according to his campaign.

"I'm humbled by the support Nebraskans continue to provide my campaign," Bruning said in a statement. "The financial investment by so many across the state provides continued momentum necessary to achieve that goal."

State Treasurer Don Stenberg, who is Bruning's main competition for the GOP nod, has not yet released his fundraising numbers.