Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) is beginning a potential re-election campaign in good financial position, thanks to friends in Congress who helped her raise big money during her long recovery process.
Giffords' campaign reported raising $358,237 during the first three months of the year, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, despite an assassination attempt that nearly took her life on January 8. The reports show Giffords has $556,000 in the bank as of the March 31 reporting deadline.
The vast majority of that haul came during March, when several of Giffords' colleagues held a fundraiser on her behalf. Giffords' campaign benefited from about $350,000 raised after a fundraiser held by Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Adam Smith (D-Wash.), as well as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
"I want to make sure Gabby Giffords has the resources that she needs. We are all here because we have her back," Wasserman Schultz told CNN before the March 15 fundraiser. "We are going to make sure, when she does back, she has the resources she needs to hit the ground running."
Giffords' campaign took in $227,500 from political action committees and her fellow House Democrats last quarter, including $7,000 from committees associated with Wasserman Schultz, $10,000 from the Blue Dog Coalition and $16,000 collected through the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Giffords has a track record of raising big bucks for her re-election bids. In 2010, when she narrowly won another term in a strong Republican year, Giffords raised more than $3.5 million. In 2008, Giffords pulled in $3.3 million, more than the nearly $2.6 million she raised during her initial 2006 run for her Tucson-based seat.