Tuesday October 16, 2012

BOSTON (AP) -- The candidates in Massa chusetts’ hotly-contested U.S. Senate race raised money at a torrid pace in the third quarter, with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren reporting more than $12 million in donations and incumbent Republican Scott Brown pulling in nearly $7.5 million.

Brown and Warren released their latest fundraising totals Monday, although a full breakdown of the July-to-September donations were not yet available.

Warren’s campaign has now raised $36.2 million through the end of September, while Brown’s campaign has topped $24 million. The race has been one of the most expensive in the nation, and qualified as the most expensive political campaign in Massachusetts history even before the latest figures.

Both campaigns appeared to have ample cash heading into the final three weeks before Election Day.

Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, raised $12.1 million in the latest quarter, and $7 million in September alone, making it her strongest quarter and strongest month, respectively, to date, the campaign said in a statement.

More than 80 percent of the donations were for $50 or less, and more than half were for $25 of less during the most recent quarter, the campaign said. Some 53,000 Massachusetts residents have donated to Warren so far, it said.

"Tens of thousands of people across Massa chusetts have joined this campaign because they know that Elizabeth will fight for them in the U.S. Senate," the campaign’s finance director, Michael Pratt, said in a statement.

While outraised by Warren, Brown’s campaign said its $7.45 million third quarter total was also its best to date and that nearly 60 percent of its donors from July to September were from Massachusetts.

The Republican reported having $10.2 million in his coffers entering the campaign’s crucial home stretch.

"As we head into the final weeks of the campaign, Scott Brown’s message of being an independent fighter for Massachusetts jobs is clearly resonating with voters," said Brown finance director John Cook.

Warren’s campaign said it had $7.3 million on hand at the end of the quarter, but had already purchased TV advertising for the final weeks.

The challenger has raised more than Brown in each quarter of 2012. Brown has said the Democrat is the beneficiary of out-of-state special interests, while Warren has countered that Brown has benefitted from financial industry interests.