The Washington Times - January 24, 2012, 12:33PM

Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine raised $1.65 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, giving him $3.3 million cash on hand to start the new year in his bid for the U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Democratic Sen. Jim Webb.

Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, has raised more than $5.2 million from roughly 12,000 donors since the start of the campaign in April, his campaign announced Tuesday.


“I’m overwhelmed and sincerely grateful for the enthusiastic support we’ve received in the first nine months of this campaign,” Mr. Kaine said in a statement. My wife “Anne and I were thrilled to welcome more than 400 supporters to our official campaign headquarters opening in Richmond on Sunday.”

Former Gov. George Allen, the current front-runner for the Republican nomination, raised almost $1.1 million in the fourth quarter, bringing his total to more than $4.5 million raised and leaving him with over $2 million on hand to start 2012.

Allen spokesman Bill Riggs, though, said that they expect national Democrats to pour millions into the campaign of Mr. Kaine, who served as President Obama’s hand-picked chairman of the Democratic National Committee before resigning to run.

“Chairman Kaine has said himself that is [an] unabashed supporter of President Obama and, as expected, his support is being rewarded,” said Mr. Riggs.

Analysts have predicted that the Virginia race will be one of the most expensive and contentious in history, and is one of a handful that will determine which party will control the Senate after the November elections. The two candidates have already squared off in a debate last month hosted by the Associated Press and the Virginia Capitol Correspondents Association.

Other Republican contenders include the recently-declared Delegate Robert G. Marshall, Prince William Republican, Tea Party Leader Jamie Radtke, Hampton Roads lawyer David McCormick, and Chesapeake Bishop E.W. Jackson. On the Democratic side, Mr. Kaine faces Northern Virginia consultant Courtney Lynch and Reston businessman Julien Modica.