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New Jersey: Lautenberg Raised $11,000 in 4th Quarter of 2012

Lautenberg raised about $11,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)
Lautenberg raised about $11,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg raised just more than $11,000 in the final three months of 2012 — a paltry total for any incumbent preparing to seek re-election.

Lautenberg, who has not said yet whether he will seek a sixth term, reported $182,000 in the bank, according to his year-end fundraising report filed with the Federal Election Commission last week.

Lautenberg is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and has previously self-funded his own re-election to the tune of seven figures. The New Jersey Democrat also posted meager fundraising at the start of his last race in the 2008 cycle, but he loaned $1 million to seed his campaign in December 2006.

Latuenberg’s small haul will continue to fuel questions about whether the 89-year-old plans to run for re-election. Lautenberg faces a tough Democratic primary challenge from Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who announced last month that he is exploring a bid for the seat. Democrats are expected to hold the seat in 2014.

Booker has filed a statement of organization with the FEC, but his first fundraising report is not due for two months. Nontheless, Booker has more than a million followers on Twitter and, as a result, will likely be able to mobilize a national network of small donors.

Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is eyeing the seat as well, and he sits on a massive war chest of $3.4 million.

To compare Lautenberg to another deep-pocketed incumbent, Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., raised $500,000 in the fourth quarter of last year. Warner, who is up for re-election in 2014, reported $3.7 million in the bank and also graces Roll Call’s 50 Richest list.

Warner has not officially announced his re-election plans either. So far, he has no serious challengers from either party.

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