- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ben Carson has raised $8.3 million for his presidential run over the first quarter of his candidacy, according to his campaign.

The Carson camp said Wednesday the retired neurosurgeon raked in $10.5 million and more than 209,000 donations since he set up a presidential presidential exploratory committee on March 3. Of those, more than 150,000 are unique individual donors, the campaign said.

The campaign said the average contribution was about $50.

“We are definitely in much stronger shape than we anticipated and we anticipated to be in good standing” said Doug Watts, a campaign spokesperson. “The grassroots support has been tremendous, just tremendous.”

Mr. Watts said the campaign’s cash-on-hand numbers were not ready, but said they will be included in the Federal Election Commission report for the second quarter reporting period, which runs from April 1 to June 30. The report is due July 15.

Mr. Carson has surprised some in the early goings on the 2016 GOP nomination race.

The Real Clear Politics Average of national polls shows the 63-year-old tied for third place with Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, trailing former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Mr. Carson is also running second to Mr. Walker in Iowa, where the nomination contest will kick off with the caucuses.

Ford O’Connell, a GOP strategist, said the fundraising numbers bode well for Mr. Carson.

“It is great sign for a guy looking to show durability in a very crowded fired,” Mr. O’Connell said, adding that the key will be to see how much money the campaign spent on its fundraising efforts.

“Obviously the fundraising number look good for Carson, but you are not going to know the full implications of it until we know how much cash he has on hand,” he said. “But It is a solid number. He is showing durability for a lot of skeptic analysts.”

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