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Franken, Coleman Pick Up the Pace of Fundraising

Entertainer Al Franken (D) is on the fundraising rebound, raising more than Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.), according to spending reports released just days before Republicans descended on the state for their convention.

Franken raised $1.4 million from July 1 to Aug. 20 in the reporting period before the Sept. 9 primary. Meanwhile, Coleman raised $1.27 million in the same period. Coleman, however, still has a cash-on-hand advantage, with $5.6 million compared with Franken’s $2.4 million in the bank. The spending reports were released late last week.

Just west of the Twin Cities in the 3rd district race to replace retiring Rep. Jim Ramstad (R), the Democrat has also raised more than the Republican in the recent reporting period.

Iraq War veteran Ashwin Madia (D) raised about $353,000, while state Rep. Erik Paulsen (R) raised about $320,000 in the same period. Paulsen still has a cash-on-hand advantage with $1.2 million in the bank compared with Madia’s $914,000 heading into this fall.

Also in the Gopher state, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) raised about $249,000 in the pre-primary period, more than her 6th district opponent, former state Transportation Commissioner Elwyn Tinklenberg (D), who raised about $156,000 in the period. Bachmann continues to keep her cash-on-hand advantage with $1.4 million in the bank; Tinklenberg had $204,000 in his campaign account.

The fundraising race in New Hampshire remains close in the 1st district, where Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) raised about $80,000 in the pre-primary period. The race could be a reprise of the 2006 contests when Shea-Porter defeated former Rep. Jeb Bradley (R), who is aiming to take the seat back. Bradley, who raised $77,000, will face a primary opponent on Sept. 9: former state Health Commissioner John Stephen (R), who raised about $63,000 in the period.

Shea-Porter still had almost twice as much in the bank as Bradley, with $675,000 in her campaign account. Stephen had $128,000 in cash on hand, while Bradley boasted $361,000 — a total that was boosted by a $200,000 loan from Bradley to his campaign this cycle.

In the 2nd district, fellow freshman Rep. Paul Hodes (D) eclipsed his potential Republican opponents in fundraising this period. Hodes raised $70,000 and has $947,000 in the bank. For the Republicans, radio host Jennifer Horn raised $160,000 in the period, but that includes a $135,000 loan from Horn to her campaign. She has the most cash on hand at almost $146,000.

State Sen. Bob Clegg (R) has also put his money into his bid — about $50,000 in this period — for a total of $300,000 of his own funds. Outside of those funds, Clegg raised $14,000 in this pre-primary period and has $93,400 in the bank. Two other Republicans, former Congressional aide Grant Bosse and attorney Jim Steiner, are also running, but Horn and Clegg are considered to be the frontrunners.

In Wisconsin, former state Speaker John Gard (R) continues to raise funds at a rapid pace in his second bid against Rep. Steve Kagen (D). He pulled in about $169,000 in the pre-primary period and had $651,300 in cash on hand. Kagen, who put $2.5 million of his own funds into the 2006 race against Gard, raised $61,000 during the pre-primary period and had $827,000 in cash on hand.

Fundraising was swift in several New York races as well. In the highly competitive 29th district race, Rep. Randy Kuhl (R) raised $117,000 in the seven-week period and had $572,000 in the bank. His Democratic challenger, Eric Massa, raised $210,000 and had $534,000 on hand.