- The Washington Times - Friday, October 14, 2011

Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign announced Friday that the former Massachusetts governor had collected $14 million in the third quarter of the fundraising calendar in the three-month period that ended Sept. 30

The strong total comes on the heels of his $18 million haul in his second quarter filing, though it is less than rival Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s $17 million haul.

Mr. Perry entered the race the second week in August, which basically represented the midway point in the third quarter fundraising period.

The Romney camp reported more than 55,000 donors and said it had $14.65 million cash on hand, which also falls short of Mr. Perry’s $15 million cash on hand. Still, the former Massachusetts governor finds himself on solid financial footing heading into the coming months, which could include an early December primary in New Hampshire that many say would benefit his presidential campaign.

“We are proud of the $32 million we have raised for the campaign so far,” said Spencer Zwick, the campaign’s national finance chairman. “This is just the start of the effort to help fuel Mitt Romney’s message that will defeat President Obama next November.”

Businessman and talk-show host Herman Cain, who has surged in recent polls — some of which cast him as supplanting Mr. Romney as the new frontrunner — has yet to release his fundraising totals for the period. Mr. Cain has said he will have no debt and several hundred thousand dollars cash on hand.

President Obama’s re-election campaign, meanwhile, has it had raised $70 million in the quarter, about $43 million for his race and another $27 million for the Democratic Party. Mr. Obama is expected to have a strong financial edge over any Republican challenger heading into the 2012 campaign.

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