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Burn notice: GOP’s West raises and spends big in Klein challenge

by George Bennett | April 16th, 2010

Republican congressional candidate, YouTube celebrity and fund-raising phenom Allen West has raked in more than $2 million in contributions for his challenge of U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton. But he’s already spent $977,853 — primarily on a direct-mail campaign with a group of Washington firms.

Reports filed Thursday show West raised $838,445 in the first quarter of 2010 to Klein’s $456,263. It was the second quarter in a row that West out-raised Klein in their nationally watched race. Overall, West has $1.1 million cash on hand while Klein has nearly $2.7 million in the bank.

Democrat Chris Craft’s report shows why he dropped his challenge of U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta. Craft raised only $29,909 in the first quarter before announcing his departure March 26.

Rooney raised $200,974 in the quarter and has $579,527 cash on hand. He was outdone during the quarter by his younger brother, Michigan U.S. House hopeful Brian Rooney, who raised $325,041 and has $443,005 on hand for his race up north.

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