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Democratic Senators, Candidates Posting Strong Q2 Fundraising

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Rep. Shelley Berkley raised more than $1.2 million in the second quarter in her campaign against Sen. Dean Heller in Nevada.

Several Democrats running in competitive Senate elections next year announced solid second-quarter fundraising reports Tuesday.

Sen. Jon Tester (Mont.), Rep. Shelley Berkley (Nev.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (Fla.) will all report raising more than $1 million. With Senate control hanging in the balance, each is running in a state that will be among the most closely watched in the country.

Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) announced a strong quarter as well. He, too, should expect a challenging election for a full six-year term, though so far it’s unclear if he will have a top-tier opponent.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) raised $1.5 million and had $4.1 million in the bank as of June 30, setting her own fundraising record. But no Republican has stepped up to challenge her.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee touted its candidates’ numbers, as well as those previously announced by Virginia Senate candidate Tim Kaine and Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Bob Menendez (N.J.) and Bob Casey (Pa.).

Tester, who is facing a challenge from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), will report raising $1.3 million and has $2.3 million on hand. Rehberg has not yet announced his fundraising figures. Polls suggest this will be one of the closest races of the 2012 cycle.

In Nevada, Berkley announced raising more than $1.2 million for her campaign against appointed Sen. Dean Heller (R), her former House colleague. Berkley now has more than $2.5 million in the bank, a strong start for the candidate who may represent the party’s best chance at picking up a Senate seat.

Shelley Berkley’s fundraising haul demonstrates strong support for a candidate who will help put Nevadans back to work and create new jobs all across the state,” Berkley campaign manager Jessica Mackler said in a statement. “Shelley Berkley is the only candidate with a record of creating jobs and protecting Medicare. Her early, widespread appeal lays the foundation for a strong campaign to come.”

Meanwhile, the Nelson campaign announced that the two-term Senator raised $1.9 million in the second quarter and had more than $6 million in cash on hand at the end of June. “It’s a sign of strength and broad-based support for Bill Nelson across Florida,” state Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said in a statement.

Five Republicans are currently vying for the nomination to take on Nelson. Among them, three have released fundraising totals for the second quarter. Former Sen. George LeMieux raised more than $950,000, Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos pulled in more than $900,000 and former Florida House Majority Leader Adam Hasner posted more than $560,000.

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