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Pro Romney Super PAC raises $12 million

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Former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney marches in the Amherst Fourth of July parade July 4, 2011 in Amherst, New Hampshire. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images) Restore Our Future, a so-called “Super PAC”organized by former political aides to Mitt Romney and designed to help him in the 2012 presidential race, collected $12 million in the first six months of 2011.

“There is tremendous support across the country for Mitt Romney,” said Charlie Spies, one of the PAC’s founders. “Americans are coming out in support of Governor Romney because they are confident he has the experience to turn our economy around.”

Though the PAC, which can accept unlimited donations but must report those contributions (and the names of the men and women who made them) to the Federal Election Commission, was formed late last year, active fundraising began in April, according to sources familiar with the operation.

The group ended June with $12 million on hand, a sign of the minuscule overhead for these sorts of groups. Spies, who served as general counsel for the former Massachusetts governor’s 2008 presidential bid, Carl Forti, Romney’s political director in that race, and Larry McCarthy, a member of Romney’s media consulting team, make up the board of directors for Restore Our Future.

Romney is expected to be the clear fundraising leader on the Republican side when second quarter totals are released over the next week or so. (Reports detailing contributions and expenditures between April 1 and June 30 are due at the FEC by July 15.)

Estimates have Romney raising roughly $20 million. No other Republican candidate has raised more than $4.5 million to date although Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has demonstrated significant fundraising ability in the past, is yet to report her totals.

The pro-Romney super PAC is the only one of its kind in the Republican race. The PAC has not yet said how or where it will spend its money but given the involvement of McCarthy it seems likely that Restore Our Future will focus on television ads.

Romney has already come under attack from Priorities USA, a Democratic-aligned super PAC, that ran ads in South Carolina hitting him on health care among other issues.

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