Allen West leads Florida's Top 10 congressional fundraisers during second quarter

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Conservative Republican firebrand and radio talk-show staple Allen West led all Florida congressional candidates in fund-raising during the year’s second quarter by at least a three-to-one margin, according to federal election records, reports Michael Peltier of the News Service of Florida.

West’s $2.3 million for the quarter ending June 30 continued the contribution juggernaut that has allowed the one-term incumbent to amass nearly $10 million so far in his first re-election campaign. His second quarter tally was more than all but two other candidates have raised during the 2012 election cycle.

West faces Democrat Patrick Murphy, whose $507,198 in contributions for the period was good enough to place him fifth overall for the quarter. Murphy, whose campaign has been targeted as a possible swing seat, has so far raised $2.3 million.

West, a retired U.S. Army officer, far outdistanced his nearest fundraising rival, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also is chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She raised $639,510 for the quarter, according to Federal Elections Commission reports.

Other top finishers in the quarterly campaign derby included Democrat Alan Grayson ($605,247), Republican Adam Hasner ($558,936) and Republican incumbent John Mica ($400,291.)

Rounding out the top 10 were Democrat Keith Fitzgerald ($381,215), Democrat Lois Frankel ($359,887), Republican incumbent Steve Southerland ($356,884) and Republican incumbent Vern Buchanan ($333,937.)

Combined, Florida’s congressional candidates raised nearly $12 million for the quarter, bringing the election cycle total so far to more than $48 million for those candidates who are still, at least theoretically, in the race.

At least 12 candidates have raised more than $1 million toward their respective 2012 election bids, with another 14 hopefuls over the $500,000 threshold.

As of June 30, congressional campaigns had a collective total of more than $30 million cash in hand as they head into the heat of the campaign season. From here on out the reporting periods shrink. The next congressional reports, which cover July 1 to July 25, are due Aug. 2. The primary is scheduled for Aug. 14.

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Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.