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Campbell has raised $700,000 for Senate bid

February 12, 2010 |  1:25 pm

Former Congressman Tom Campbell, who left the gubernatorial race because of fundraising woes and jumped into the Republican Senate race one month ago, announced Friday that he has raised more than $700,000 since then. That's nearly the amount he raised for his gubernatorial run in all of 2009.

“Our fundraising is on fire,” said campaign finance director Kimberley Halcomb in a news release. “There’s a tremendous level of excitement for Tom Campbell. He's seen as the only candidate with a proven record of cutting federal spending — and the one Republican who can defeat Barbara Boxer.”

Campbell dropped out of the governor's race because he could not raise a fraction of the money necessary to compete with his wealthy opponents in the GOP primary, former EBay chief Meg Whitman and Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner, who have already devoted tens of millions of their personal fortunes to their election efforts. In the Senate race, Campbell is competing with one multimillionaire, former Hewlett-Packard chief Carly Fiorina. Though she has lent her campaign $2.5 million, she has not yet shown the inclination to spend as much of her personal wealth as Whitman or Poizner.

Campbell will still need to raise millions to be competitive in the Republican Senate primary, and his financial situation remains murky because his campaign did not release details about how much he has spent laying the groundwork for a Senate bid, or how much cash he has on hand. Fiorina had $2.7 million in her treasury at the end of 2009, while Orange County Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, a favorite of the Tea Partiers and conservative pundits, had a paltry $143,000.

They are all being trounced in the fundraising department by their general-election target, incumbent Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer. The three-term senator ended 2009 with $7.3 million in the bank for her general election run. While the Republican opponents slug it out in their primary, Boxer's campaign is continuing to raise cash, such as at a fundraiser on Saturday headlined by former Vice President Al Gore.

-- Seema Mehta
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