Sen. Boxer Leads Challenger in Money Race

California Sen. Barbara Boxer (search) holds a strong fund-raising advantage over Republican challenger Bill Jones (search) in her bid for a third term, both campaigns said Monday.

Jones, the former secretary of state, raised $960,000 between Feb. 11 and March 31. Boxer raised $1.5 million during the same period.

Boxer's campaign has raised a total of $11 million, compared with $1.4 million raised by Jones, who also loaned his campaign an additional $350,000, campaign officials said, citing fund-raising reports for the Federal Election Commission (search).

"I am pleased that so many people want to help us in this great campaign," Boxer said in a statement.

Jones said the disparity reflected his late entry into the race and his campaign to beat back three primary opponents. He had just $200,000 in the bank by March 31 while Boxer had $5.9 million.

"I've been retired for a year and got into the race Dec. 5, so I had to raise money from a standing start," Jones said in a telephone interview. "Nothing in this report dissuades me from thinking we can raise sufficient funds to win."

Jones' campaign strategist Ed Rollins estimated the campaign needs to raise $20 million to defeat Boxer, a figure Jones disputed somewhat. "We'll raise what's necessary," Jones said.