RICHMOND — U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kaine raised more than $2.2 million in the first quarter of 2012, outpacing his Republican rival, George Allen, who raised just over $1.4 million.
Mr. Kaine's advisers said Tuesday that they were cautiously optimistic heading into the spring campaign season.
"We are extremely proud that thousands of Virginians have embraced Governor Kaine's commitment to bring Virginia answers to Washington," said Kaine spokeswoman Brandi Hoffine.
Mr. Kaine, who finished the reporting period with more than $4.4 million on hand, will not have opposition from his own party in the race to replace retiring Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat. Mr. Allen will take on Delegate Robert G. Marshall of Prince William County, tea-party activist Jamie Radtke and Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson.
Mr. Allen, who has nearly $2.66 million on hand, said he was encouraged by his fundraising total.
"The generosity we have seen from people in every region of Virginia is truly heartening," he said in a statement.
Kaine senior adviser Mo Elleithee congratulated the four Republican candidates for making it onto the primary ballot and said the coming GOP debates would help amplify differences between the Republican candidates and Mr. Kaine on social and fiscal issues.
"Let's be clear — this is going to be a vigorous Republican primary," he said. "We are going to sit back and enjoy the show over the coming weeks."
Mr. Kaine will kick off an "aggressive" two-day tour Wednesday to add more specific proposals to his economic message of growth, a "talent" economy and a balanced approach to fiscal issues, campaign manager Mike Henry said. He'll be joined for part of the trip by Democratic Sen. Mark R. Warner.
Despite the camp's current fundraising advantage, Mr. Elleithee said that, factoring in outside groups, he expects the campaign to be outspent.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Crossroads GPS, an offshoot of Karl Rove's super PAC, American Crossroads, already have spent more than $1 million in ads targeting Mr. Kaine.
"We expect to see a lot more of that from the other side," Mr. Elleithee said. "We feel good about where we are, but we expect to see a lot more of their ads than ours. But we're OK with that."
Mr. Kaine and Mr. Allen have dwarfed the fundraising totals of the other candidates in the race. Ms. Radtke and Mr. Jackson each raised less than $1 million last year.
Mr. Marshall recently entered the race and has not reported any financial activity, according to the Federal Election Commission.
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