Perry reports $17 million in contributions

Don’t count him out yet.

Rick Perry may have suffered some recent stumbles on the campaign trail and dropped in the polls, but he’s raising enough money to keep himself in the race as a strong challenger to the presumptive frontrunner, Mitt Romney.

Perry’s campaign reported today that the longtime Texas governor hauled in an impressive $17 million since entering the race 49 days ago. That sum dwarfs the $11 million to $13 million that Romney has reported raising in the previous 92 days.

Perry’s campaign said 51 percent of the governor’s 22,000 donors live outside of Texas, a sign he is broadening his reach into money networks beyond his home state. He now has $15 million cash on hand, with all but $50,000 of that sum going towards the primary.

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“The generous contributions from Americans across the nation prove the overwhelming support for Governor Perry’s principled, conservative leadership and vision to get America working again,’’ Rob Johnson, Perry’s campaign manager, said in a statement today. “Governor Perry deeply appreciates the energetic support and hard work of the thousands of Republican volunteers and activists who’ve helped us build a strong and growing organization in just seven weeks.’’

Romney’s $11 million to $13 million haul in the previous quarter, while solid, represented a drop-off from the $18.2 million he brought in during the previous three months.

Representative Ron Paul of Texas is planning to report at least $5 million, according to campaign manager Jesse Benton. Representative Michele Bachmann, the Minnesota Republican, is not planning to announce her figures before the Oct. 15 filing deadline, according to spokeswoman Alice Stewart.

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