Sen. Burris challenger raises $1.1 million

Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (D) raised $1.1 million in one month for his early bid for Sen. Roland Burris’s (D-Ill.) seat.

The total, reported Tuesday by the Chicago Sun-Times, should help Giannoulias in scaring off other challengers and could serve notice that he will be a formidable foe.

So far, Giannoulias is the only major candidate in the race, but former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley and Rep. Jan Schakowsky are among the Democrats still considering their options, along with Burris. On the GOP side, national leaders hope Rep. Mark KirkMark Steven KirkLiberal veterans group urges Biden to name Duckworth VP On the Trail: Senate GOP hopefuls tie themselves to Trump Biden campaign releases video to explain 'what really happened in Ukraine' MORE will enter the race.

The numbers from Giannoulias aren’t altogether surprising, given his previous statewide experience, his business background and family ties, and the early nods of support he has received from Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinTumultuous court battle upends fight for Senate McConnell focuses on confirming judicial nominees with COVID-19 talks stalled Senate Republicans signal openness to working with Biden MORE (D-Ill.).

But Giannoulias’s supporters noted that it was done in a tough fundraising climate, where signs increasingly point to significantly reduced political giving.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandSunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election Suburban moms are going to decide the 2020 election Jon Stewart urges Congress to help veterans exposed to burn pits MORE (D-N.Y.), who will try to retain the Senate seat she was appointed to early this year, announced Monday that she raised $2.3 million in her first two months on the fundraising trail. Giannoulias’s report will offer a similar fundraising pace, and Gillibrand was one of the top fundraisers among congressional incumbents last cycle.