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McMahon to Report Spending $2 Million So Far on Senate Bid

World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon (R) spent more than $2 million in the first two weeks of her quest to challenge Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), according to preliminary fundraising tallies obtained by Roll Call. Third-quarter fundraising reports are due to be filed Thursday, and McMahon will report spending $2.05 million on her bid so far for the GOP Senate nomination. She will show $1.45 million in the bank as of the end of last month. McMahon, who is reportedly willing to spend upward of $30 million of her own money on the race, will report loaning her campaign $3 million so far. Also according to preliminary numbers, McMahon has donated $496,000 in in-kind contributions that include campaign-related expenses she paid for out of pocket, bringing her total personal investment to almost $3.5 million.Public polling has shown Dodd to be the most vulnerable Senator seeking re-election in 2010, and several GOP candidates have lined up to challenge the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.But McMahon’s spending eclipsed her GOP competition, which includes former Rep. Rob Simmons, former Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley, state Sen. Sam Caligiuri and businessman Peter Schiff.Simmons, who is the leading Republican in the race according to polls, announced Tuesday morning that he raised almost $1 million in the third quarter and had just more than $1 million in cash on hand as of Sept. 30. Simmons also announced that he has raised $1.7 million to date, and one Nutmeg State GOP strategist who is supporting McMahon pointed out that shows the former Congressman has a campaign spending burn rate of more than 40 percent in the past three months.“Rob Simmons is on track to have a total campaign war chest next summer slightly higher than the amount Linda McMahon spent in the first two weeks of the campaign,— the McMahon backer said.A Simmons campaign aide defended the campaign’s spending, adding that the vast majority of their costs come from prospective new donors, which is traditionally an expensive process.

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