Incumbents Hold Money Lead in Senate Races

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A Republican senator seeking re-election in Nevada pulled far ahead of his challenger in the race to raise money for the November election, reflecting a trend nationally.

First-term Republican Sen. John Ensign reported $3.3 million cash on hand at the end of the second quarter — about eight times as much as his Democratic opponent Jack Carter, an investment consultant and son of former president Jimmy Carter.

Ensign raised $647,000 between April 1 to June 30; Carter $482,000 this quarter.

In New York, Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's muscular fundraising has far outpaced a Senate hopeful for the GOP nomination to challenge her.

John Spencer, a former mayor of Yonkers, N.Y., reported Sunday his campaign for U.S. Senate raised more than $1.2 million in the quarter. That's slightly up from the previous quarter, but still far behind the $5.7 million Clinton's re-election campaign reported for the same period.

Spencer is competing with Kathleen Troia "KT" McFarland, a Reagan-era Pentagon official, for the Republican nomination. McFarland's campaign raised $224,000 this quarter.

Incumbency also helped in Missouri, where Republican Sen. Jim Talent widened his money lead over his Democratic rival.

Talent is ahead of Democratic rival Claire McCaskill in the race for campaign cash, pulling in $2.2 million from April through June, new finance reports show. McCaskill raised about $1.45 million over the same period, according to federal election documents filed late Saturday.

But in Connecticut, Democratic challenger Ned Lamont, the founder of a cable television company, raised more money than Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman this quarter.

Lamont raised and spent $1.9 million — largely thanks to the $1.1 million he contributed to himself. Lamont was left with $276,976 still on hand.

Lieberman's filing showed he raised $1.3 million for the two months, and has nearly $4.3 million cash remaining for his re-election effort. He and Lamont face off in an Aug. 8 primary.