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Mass. US Sen. hopeful Warren outraising Sen. Brown

By Steve LeBlanc
Associated Press / April 9, 2012
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BOSTON—Democratic U.S. Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren pulled in more than twice as much as Republican incumbent Scott Brown in contributions during the first three months of the year, upping the fundraising stakes in one of the nation's most closely watched campaigns.

Warren's campaign reported Monday that it raised $6.9 million from Jan. 1 through March 31, compared with the $3.4 million that Brown's campaign said it raised in the same period. Warren's total surpasses the amount Brown raised in the past two quarters combined.

Brown's campaign said it now has about $15 million in his re-election account, compared with the $11 million that Warren's campaign said it has.

The race is already on its way to becoming one of the most expensive Senate contests in the nation this year.

During 2011, Brown and Warren pulled in a total of more than $17.5 million in contributions, according to Federal Election Commission records. The new donation numbers would bring that total to about $27.8 million with the election still seven months off.

The $27.8 million nearly mirrors the $27.9 million raised by Brown and then-Democratic candidate Martha Coakley in the 2010 special election, the most expensive Senate contest in Massachusetts history.

Warren didn't formally join the race for the Democratic nomination for the Massachusetts Senate seat until mid-September.

About 64 percent of Warren's donations from the first quarter came from out-of-state donors. The campaign previously said Warren received $2.5 million from in-state donors during the three-month period.

Brown's campaign hasn't said how much of the $3.4 million it raised during the most recent quarter came from in-state donors.

Warren's campaign said 30,000 people from 350 Massachusetts communities have contributed to her campaign. The campaign also said 83 percent of first-quarter donations were $50 or less.

"The incredible enthusiasm we have seen from people across the commonwealth who are contributing to this campaign shows the strong grassroots momentum behind Elizabeth's fight for middle class families," Warren campaign manager Mindy Myers said in a statement.

Brown's campaign continued to focus on Warren's out-of-state donations.

"Professor Warren's fundraising continues to be mostly out-of-state money from extremely liberal donors and special interests that are trying to influence the Massachusetts election," said Brown campaign spokesman Colin Reed.

Brown's campaign has said only that 71 percent of the contributions it received in the first quarter came from Massachusetts donors, but unlike Warren, wouldn't say what the dollar total of those donations were.

Warren's campaign has also noted that Brown enjoyed a flood of out-of-state donations during the closing weeks of the 2010 special election that propelled him into the seat left vacant by the death of longtime Sen. Edward Kennedy from brain cancer.

With its hefty early fundraising totals, the Brown/Warren race is also on its way to becoming the most expensive campaign in Massachusetts history.

Brown has relied heavily on donations from the financial services and health care sectors while Warren, a Harvard law professor, has tapped the wallets of lawyers, fellow academics, union members and filmmakers.

An Associated Press analysis of 2011 donations to both candidates found Brown pulled in more than $880,000 last year in donations from bankers, investors, venture capitalists, private equity professionals and others working in the financial services sector.

The donors worked for firms including Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Investments, J.P. Morgan, Barclays Capital and Bain Capital.

Warren, who collected about $175,000 from the financial services sector, took in far more than Brown from lawyers, collecting nearly $700,000 from attorneys compared to Brown's $348,000.

She's also pulled in checks from the entertainment industry, including Hollywood heavyweights like Barbra Streisand, Danny DeVito and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, each of whom donated $2,500.

Some recent polls have given Brown, the only Republican in Massachusetts' congressional delegation, an edge while others have the race essentially a toss-up between Brown and Warren.

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