Berkley raises more than $1.2 million for Senate bid

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Rep. Shelley Berkley, the Nevada Democrat who is running for the Senate in 2012, announced today that her campaign had raised more than $1.2 million in the just under three months since she announced her candidacy.

According to her campaign, that money comes from 2,900 individuals. Among them, 2,550 are new contributors.

That gives Berkley a substantial war chest. As of June 30, 2011, her campaign says, she had almost $2.5 million dollars cash on hand. (Nevada judge rules in favor of Republicans on special election rules)

“Shelley Berkley’s fundraising haul demonstrates strong support for a candidate who will help put Nevadans back to work and create new jobs all across the state,” said Jessica Mackler, Berkley’s campaign manager, in a press release. “Shelley Berkley is the only candidate with a record of creating jobs and protecting Medicare. Her early, widespread appeal lays the foundation for a strong campaign to come.”

Berkley’s Republican opponent, Dean Heller, has not yet released his fundraising numbers for the quarter. Heller currently holds the Senate seat for which he and Berkley are running, having been appointed by Gov. Brian Sandoval after former Sen. John Ensign resigned amid an ethics investigation.

An internal poll conducted for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee by the Mellman Group on June 15 found Berkley leading the race, with 42 percent of the vote to Heller’s 37 percent.

In response to the announcement, National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Jahan Wilcox blasted: “If there is one thing everyone knows about Las Vegas Congresswoman Shelley Berkley’s career in Congress is that she’s successful in spending other people’s money. However, no amount of campaign cash will hide the fact that it was Berkley – not Byron Georgiou – who voted for a government-run health care bill that cut Medicare by $500 billion and raised taxes by $500 billion, while driving our debt past $14.3 trillion.”