- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Despite having a two-month head start, George Allen holds only a slight fundraising lead over likely opponent Tim Kaine in the race for U.S. Senate.

Mr. Allen raised about $1.1 million from April to June, after collecting $1.5 million during the first quarter. That brings his total fundraising to $2.6 million, compared with the $2.2 million pocketed by Mr. Kaine in the second quarter alone.

Mr. Allen has been gathering donations since late January, when the Republican announced his candidacy for the seat he lost five years ago. Mr. Kaine, a Democrat, didn’t jump into the race until early April. Both men are favored to win their respective primaries.

Mr. Kaine’s later start doesn’t seem to have hurt him in the fundraising realm. Fresh off a two-year stint as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, he brings fundraising prowess to a matchup that is expected to become the most expensive Virginia race yet.

“We expected Chairman Kaine to be a formidable fundraiser,” said Allen spokeswoman Katie Wright. “Over 25 percent of what he raised in his first quarter came from ActBlue. We had a strong quarter, and we’re excited about the momentum that’s building across the state.”

Mr. Allen has tried to turn ActBlue into a point of attack over the past two weeks. Created to connect contributors and Democratic candidates, donors used it to give nearly a half-million dollars to Mr. Kaine’s campaign.*

The Allen campaign says donors have used ActBlue to contribute to Wisconsin Democrats who recently opposed a controversial law in that state to sharply curb union rights for public employees.

Mr. Kaine’s campaign shot back this week with a jab at Crossroads GPS — the “super PAC” created by Republican strategist Karl Rove that doesn’t have to disclose its donors. The group came under Democratic fire last year when it became one of the largest contributors to Republicans.

“This is absolutely absurd,” said senior adviser Mo Elleithee. “The real special interests in this race are the ones funding Karl Rove’s shadowy group that accepts anonymous, limitless contributions so they can run attack ads here in Virginia.”

More details on the second-quarter fundraising will not be available until Friday, when the final reports are due. Candidates often release totals before the deadline if they feel it will help their campaigns.

Mr. Allen said 82 percent of his funds came from donors in Virginia and that more than 5,000 individuals contributed to his campaign. Mr. Kaine reported donations from more than 4,600 individuals when he released his second-quarter totals last week.

Tea party favorite Jamie Radtke, who is battling Mr. Allen for the GOP nomination, also released her second-quarter totals on Wednesday. She reported raising $92,000, after bringing in $150,000 in the first quarter.

*A previous posted version of this story incorrectly characterized the nature of the contributions given by donors through ActBlue.

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