Turnabout: Crist far behind Rubio in first-quarter fund-raising for U.S. Senate

TALLAHASSEE — Palm Beach Post Staff and Wire Reports

U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist’s campaign announced today that he raised $1.1 million for the quarter ending March 31.

The figure was less than a third of what was raised by his Republican rival, Marco Rubio, who posted contributions of $3.6 million for the quarter.

It’s the first quarter that Crist has raised less than Rubio in the race.

Still, Crist’s campaign coffers remain flush with more than $7.5 million cash on hand. Rubio, who is not saying what he has on hand now, had $2 million at the end of 2009.

In the race for state attorney general, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp leads Republican candidates with more than $660,000 in total contributions. Holly Benson has a total of $475,000 and Pam Bondi has $420,000. Democratic candidate Rep. Dan Gelber, of Miami Beach, collected $325,000 in the quarter and has a campaign account that now tops $1 million, while state Sen. Dave Aronberg, of Greenacres, collected $260,000 in the quarter and has collected a total of $915,000.

The two state senators had an abbreviated fund-raising period as lawmakers are barred from collecting contributions during session, meaning they have not been allowed to raise money since March 2.

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Tom Tillison

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