Democratic Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska raised just over $1 million in the year's first fundraising quarter and has roughly $2.8 million on hand, his campaign said Tuesday.
The total is a strong haul for the one-term incumbent, in a state where TV ads come relatively cheap. But the report also indicates that Begich is burning through his cash as fast as he can raise it, as conservative outside groups take advantage of those cheap TV ad rates: Begich also had $2.8 million on hand to close 2013.
The Alaska Senate race is one of the GOP's top pickup targets in this year's midterm elections, although Begich is considered the strongest of a quintet of red-state Democratic incumbents running for another term. He narrowly defeated former Republican Sen. Ted Stevens in 2008, winning by fewer than 4,000 votes.
This year, he'll face one of a trio of Republicans trying to win the party's Senate nomination: Former state Attorney General Dan Sullivan, Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, and 2010 GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller. Most consider Sullivan — who raised $1.2 million in 2013's final fundraising quarter — the Republican Party's early front-runner.