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Bingaman Has $500K at Start of 2012 Cycle

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who is up for re-election in 2012, has just more than $500,000 on hand as of the end of the year, according to a financial report summary obtained by Roll Call.

The Senator’s one large fundraising event last year was held in September, and a big chunk of the money raised then trickled in during the fourth quarter of 2010. Bingaman reported raising about $215,000 from Oct. 1 to Dec. 31 and spending $221,000.

He has $510,000 in the bank at the start of the 2012 cycle. Bingaman has not yet announced whether he will run for a sixth term next year. He won 71 percent of the vote in his last election in 2006, which was a good year for Democrats nationwide. That year he spent $2.6 million — five times as much as his Republican opponent.

His next election could be far more challenging and costly if former Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.) decides to run. She told Roll Call in early January that she was considering running for the Senate along with other opportunities.

Roll Call Politics rates this race Safe Democratic.

Mackenzie Weinger contributed to this report.