- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 16, 2014

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Incumbent U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has maintained his fundraising advantage over fellow Republican Dr. Milton Wolf in their Kansas primary race according to the latest reports filed with federal election officials.

Roberts, who is seeking his fourth term in the Senate, reported to the Federal Elections Commission that his campaign raised more than $534,000 from Jan. 1 through March 31, aided by nearly $260,000 from political action committees.

Roberts, 77, said in a statement that he was pleased with the new numbers, including more than 3,700 individual contributions from Kansas and 7,100 nationwide. He raised $274,000 from individual donors, part of the nearly $4 million his campaign has raised during the entire election cycle. The campaign had more than $2 million in cash on hand.

“It shows Kansans recognize my efforts in behalf of our state and agree with my conservative record of working to repeal and replace Obamacare and restore a constitutional government in Washington,” Roberts said.

Wolf’s campaign said Wednesday it raised more than $318,000 during the same period, and that all but $5,050 was contributed by individual donors.

Ben Hartman, Wolf’s campaign spokesman, said the challenger’s fundraising efforts indicated that the Leawood radiologist had the resources to run a competitive race.

“If you take his PAC money out of this quarterly report we actually outraised him by a pretty decent amount,” Hartman said.

Wolf’s campaign announced Wednesday that it started its first television ad of the campaign, a 30-second spot that takes issue with the fact Roberts has been in Washington as a senator and member of the U.S. House for 47 years. The Wolf campaign is airing the ad for 14 days statewide.

The narrator says that Wolf promises to fight wasteful spending and to repeal the federal health care law and return to Kansas to resume practicing medicine.

Wolf has raised $587,000, including $30,000 in personal loans to his campaign. Hartman said Roberts had spent significant funds during the reporting period, suggesting questions raised by Wolf regarding Roberts‘ residency in Kansas were significant. Wolf raised questions about Roberts not having a home in Kansas but renting a duplex in Dodge City when he is back in the state.

“If residency had no impact, why did he use his first ad buy of the campaign to run negative ads against a virtually unknown primary challenger?” Hartman said.

Leroy Towns, Roberts‘ spokesman, said Wolf’s allegations “had absolutely no impact” on the senator’s fundraising efforts or strength of the campaign.

Roberts released a television ad during the quarter attacking Wolf for exposing private patient X-rays on a Facebook page. The Topeka Capital-Journal uncovered the images, which didn’t identify the patients.

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