Mark Udall, Bruce Braley raised seven figures in first quarter

Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) both turned in strong fundraising performances in the first quarter, pulling in at least seven figures as the 2014 Senate races got started.

Udall raised $1.5 million for the quarter, according to the Denver Post, and has $2.5 million in the bank.

Braley announced in an e-mail that he has raised more than $1 million since Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) announced his retirement in late January. Braley is the presumptive Democratic nominee in the Hawkeye State, while Republicans are still figuring out who will run on their side.

On the GOP side, The Hill reports that Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), a likely challenger for Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in 2014, raised half-a-million dollars for his House account in the first quarter.

That money can be transferred to a Senate campaign. Landrieu hasn't announced her first-quarter total, but she raised a very strong $1 million in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Iowa and Louisiana are top-tier races that are expected to be competitive. Udall, while hailing from a swing state, is personally popular and is likely to benefit from a thin GOP bench in Colorado.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.
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