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Franken re-election campaign funds boost to nearly $6 million

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As campaign season heats up, new numbers show Minnesota Sen. Al Franken has $5.9 million in the bank.

The Franken campaign released fundraising totals Friday for the first three months of this year.

Franken raised $2.7 million, a 28 percent increase over the previous quarter, the AP reports.

The campaign says there were 76,000 donations in the first quarter. Ninety-seven percent of them were small donations of under $100. More than 25,000 of the donors were first-time Franken contributors.

MPR News reports Franken’s campaign has been aggressively courting donors online.

Republicans have yet to settle on a nominee and may not until an August primary. None of them have posted their most recent fundraising figures and they have until next week to do so.

Leading contenders for the GOP nomination are: St. Louis County Commissioner Chris Dahlberg, businessman Mike McFadden and state Sen. Julianne Ortman.

McFadden has raised the most of a Republican in the race so far with $1.7 million in the bank as of Jan. 1.

MPR News reports conservative outside groups with Franken in their sights have begun operating in Minnesota.

An anti-Franken super PAC called the Heartland Campaign Fund was recently established by a GOP political operative. An outside group called American Encore that does not have to disclose its funders also recently began airing ads attacking Franken for supporting stricter campaign finance rules.

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