WASHINGTON – Democratic Sen. Bob Graham raised just over $1 million for his presidential bid in his first month in the race even though he held no fund-raisers, his campaign said Monday.
The total put Graham behind several other hopefuls in early fund raising, including Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, John Edwards of North Carolina and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut as well as Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.
Graham, who was recovering from Jan. 31 heart surgery, raised $1,050,000 after three weeks of telephone calls, his campaign said. He had just over $1 million on hand.
The Florida senator and former governor held his first presidential fund-raiser Friday, days after the March 31 deadline. The event, at the Interlachen Country Club in Winter Park, Fla., raised $150,000, said Jim Pugh, a Graham friend and Orlando businessman who organized the fund-raiser.
"My feeling is that the fund-raising is quiet, organized, respectful of the troops and the commander in chief and successful," said Robin Gibson, treasurer of the Graham campaign. "We're pleased with the progress."
Graham plans trips to California and New Hampshire during the congressional recess later this month to raise money and introduce himself to Democratic activists.
Among the eight others in the race, Edwards has raised about $7.4 million so far this year, Kerry about $7 million, Gephardt $3.6 million and Lieberman around $3 million.
The hopefuls will file reports next week with the Federal Election Commission spelling out their campaign finances from January through March in detail.