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Politics

LeMieux's Big Fundraising Quarter

July 11, 2011

Former Sen. George LeMieux (R) raised more than $950,000 for his Senate run in the second fundraising quarter, his campaign said Monday. With the impressive total, LeMieux outpaced his two main rivals for the GOP nomination. State Senate President Mike Haridopolos brought in $900,000 for the second quarter, while former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner raised $560,000. The LeMieux campaign did not reveal its cash on hand total.

"George is working tirelessly to build a campaign that will defeat liberal Bill Nelson and help elect our Republican ticket in the fall," LeMieux campaign manager Brian Seitchik said in a release announcing the haul. "No one in this race will outwork George LeMieux."

The solid fundraising performance gives LeMieux some early momentum in his bid to return to the Senate. It serves as a reminder that despite LeMieux's problematic ties to his longtime boss, former Gov. Charlie Crist, he will be a force to be reckoned with financially -- thanks in large part to his connections from his time with Crist and his brief stint in the Senate.

Haridopolos and Hasner both had relatively disappointing fundraising quarters. While Haridopolos still posted a hefty total, he didn't come close to matching his huge first quarter, when he raised $2.6 million. The conservative buzz surrounding Hasner's candidacy didn't translate into a robust fundraising session, but his campaign painted the underwhelming total as further evidence of Hasner's anti-establishment bona fides.

The crowded Republican field will expand Tuesday, when former Ruth's Chris Steak House CEO Craig Miller officially enters the race.

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