The Washington Post

Rick Perry raises $17 million in third fundraising quarter

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry will report raising at least $17 million in the third fundraising quarter, the campaign said Wednesday. The figure is likely to place the Texas governor ahead of his rivals in collecting contributions over the last three months.

The Perry campaign said it had $15 million cash on hand as of Sept. 30. Perry, who entered the race in mid-August, amassed his total over just 49 days and received contributions from more than 22,000 donors from all 50 states, the campaign said. All but about $50,000 of his sum can be spent during the primary campaign, the campaign said.

About half of his donors live in Texas, where Perry is a fundraising powerhouse and has served in statewide elected office since 1991.

“The generous contributions from Americans across the nation prove the overwhelming support for Gov. Perry’s principled, conservative leadership and vision to get America working again,” said Perry campaign manager Rob Johnson. “Gov. Perry deeply appreciates the energetic support and hard work of the thousands of Republican volunteers and activists who’ve helped us build a strong and growing organization in just seven weeks.”

Perry’s total was first reported Wednesday morning on the Drudge Report.

Since surging to front-runner status almost immediately upon entering the contest, Perry has dropped precipitously in national and early state polls in recent weeks, battered by unsteady debate performances in September and intense scrutiny over his record on issues like immigration.

His fundraising haul is likely to provide a jolt of momentum to his campaign. His top rival, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, has not released his fundraising totals for the quarter. No other candidate is expected to surpass Romney or Perry in primary campaign fundraising.

The Boston Globe reported last week that Romney’s campaign would raise from $11 million to $13 million this quarter.

During the previous three months, Romney’s first quarter as a declared candidate, he reported raising $18.2 million, far more than any other candidate at the time.

Perry’s total is “less than what Mitt Romney raised in the first quarter, and we feel good in the strength of our finance team and the fact that we are adding new people every day,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. She was referring to Home Depot founder Ken Langone and other Republican financiers who had been urging New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to run in the GOP primary but, after Christie announced Tuesday that he would not run, are now supporting Romney.

Philip Rucker is a national political correspondent for The Washington Post, where he has reported since 2005.

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