TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Republican Marco Rubio's campaign said Monday it raised $4.5 million in the second quarter this year — the best fundraising quarter ever for any Florida Senate candidate.
Rubio, who is the presumptive nominee after Gov. Charlie Crist chose to run as an independent candidate, has increased his fundraising every quarter since entering the race in May 2009. Rubio raised only $340,000 at the end of the same quarter last year, compared to $4.3 million raised by Crist.
Crist, a lifelong Republican who announced at the end of April that he would seek the Senate seat without party backing, hasn't announced his fundraising numbers for the quarter. He has been seeking help from groups that traditionally support Democrats. He had raised more than $10 million through the first three months of this year.
Of the two major Democrats in the race, Rep. Kendrick Meek announced he raised more than $1 million in the quarter that ended June 30. Billionaire Jeff Greene is paying for his own campaign. He spent several million dollars in the quarter, but his campaign has not revealed exactly how much. Campaign finance reports are due Thursday. [See where Meek's campaign cash comes from.]
Polls have shown that Crist and Rubio are running nearly even in a three-way race with either Meek or Greene far behind.
Overall, Rubio, a tea party favorite, has now raised $11 million and received contributions from more than 75,000 individuals, the campaign said. It reported that only 1 percent of contributors have reached the maximum donation limit, meaning he can keep asking nearly all his supporters for more money.