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Monday September 25th, 2017 12:51PM

Outside group backing Christie reports raising $11 million

By The Associated Press

(AP) — An outside group supporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's presidential ambitions has raised $11 million since February, the group announced Tuesday.

America Leads, a super PAC that can accept unlimited contributions, also announced that it has reserved $2.8 million in television air time in the early-voting state of New Hampshire from mid-November through primary day and will begin airing its first ad on broadcast and cable networks July 20.

Christie, a Republican, appears to be staking his campaign on the first-in-the-nation primary state and will return later this week for more events.

Christie's campaign, which has also started airing ads in the state, has yet to disclose how much it's raised. Christie announced his candidacy late last month and the campaign has until October to report those numbers, according to Federal Election Commission rules.

Phil Cox, who heads America Leads, said the group's haul surpassed its fundraising goal. The group had hoped to raise between $15 million and $20 million by the end of the calendar year, with roughly one-third of that raised by the end of June. The group says it will report additional details, including a list of contributions, to the FEC later this month.

There's lots of competition on the fundraising front.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign has said he's raised more than $12 million for his White House bid, in addition to another $32 million from outside groups.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and a supportive super PAC have raised a record $114 million since January, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz's supporters have given $52 million to his presidential effort.

In each case, the majority of the money raised has gone to outside groups that face legal restrictions on how much they can coordinate with candidates.

Allies of Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced last week that they had raised more than $11.5 million to help jumpstart the Republican's 2016 presidential bid. The two-term governor plans to announce his candidacy later in the month.

Other presidential hopefuls who have publicly disclosed fundraising details include retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who raised $10.5 million for his campaign and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at $7 million. On the Democratic side, Hillary Rodham Clinton says she has raised $45 million for her campaign and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders $15 million.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Elections, General Presidential Election News
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