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The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee last month broke its own fundraising record for the first month of an election cycle, bringing in $2.63 million, according to the committee.

That is about $200,000 less than the National Republican Senatorial Committee raised in January, as Roll Call reported Thursday, but the DSCC has about five times as much cash on hand.

After spending $732,000 last month, the DSCC will report $2.65 million on hand, compared with $432,000 in the bank for the NRSC.

However, the Democratic committee is also carrying $8.78 million in debt compared with $6.5 million for the NRSC.

Democrats have 23 seats to defend in the 2012 cycle — 13 more than the GOP — and a couple open seats that could prove troublesome for the party. That includes Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), who will announce his retirement Friday. But the committee believes January’s showing is just the start of a strong fundraising cycle.

“Senate Democrats will prevail this cycle by raising the resources needed to wage aggressive campaigns in each of our targeted states,” DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil said. “Our supporters are energized when they see Democrats focused on growing jobs and Republicans on everything but. Democrats know what is at stake in 2012 and stand ready to fight.”

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