- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Bruce Braley continues to hold a substantial fundraising lead over the Republicans vying to oppose him in the general election, according to numbers his campaign provided Friday.

Braley raised slightly more than $4 million in 2013 and ended the year with more than $2.6 million in cash on hand, financial reports due to the federal government Friday showed. The four-term congressman from Waterloo is the only Democrat seeking the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

At least six Republicans are seeking the nomination in 2014 and will face off in the June primary election. Among them, State Sen. Joni Ernst raised more than $454,000 in 2013 and was left with $289,514 in cash on hand. Wealthy businessman Mark Jacobs reported raising $410,041, as well as loaning his campaign $200,000 and contributing $321,037 during his exploratory campaign stage. He ended the year with $252,610 in cash.

Former attorney general Matt Whitaker reported that he had raised $330,960 last year, including a $50,000 loan he made to the campaign. He had $232,092 in cash at the end of the year. Sioux City radio talk show host Sam Clovis reported raising $161,968 last year and ending the year with $24,010, though he owed another $11,000.

Complete filing information was not available Friday. Reports were not due to the Federal Election Commission until midnight, and candidates have the option of filing paper reports, which take longer to be made available online.

Harkin last year announced plans to retire after 30 years in Congress.

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