Bloomberg News

Romney Leads Republicans With $12 Million Raised in February

March 21, 2012

“I always knew that the linchpin of government taking control of our lives, of fundamentally shifting what America’s all about, will come down to health care,” said Rick Santorum. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“I always knew that the linchpin of government taking control of our lives, of fundamentally shifting what America’s all about, will come down to health care,” said Rick Santorum. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney raised $12 million last month, more than any of his contenders, and entered March with $7.3 million to spend, Federal Election Commission reports show.

Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, has taken in $75.6 million for his presidential bid, more than the rest of the Republican field combined. He has spent $68.3 million on his campaign, including $12.4 million last month. He reported his latest campaign-finance figures yesterday, the day he won the Illinois Republican primary.

Registered lobbyists brought in $545,005 for the campaign in February, FEC records show. Romney added Dirk Van Dongen, president of the National Association of Wholesaler- Distributors, who had been raising money for Texas Governor Rick Perry. Van Dongen, who raised more than $500,000 for 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, brought in $22,500 for Romney last month.

Edward Ingle, a Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) lobbyist, raised $41,355. Microsoft employees and their families are the top contributors to President Barack Obama’s re-election, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group.

Romney is required by federal law to list those fundraisers who are registered lobbyists. He doesn’t release his other bundlers, nor do any other Republican candidates. Obama is the only presidential candidate who publicly identifies those raising at least $50,000 for the campaign.

Santorum’s Haul

Republican rival Rick Santorum took in $9 million in February, bringing his campaign fundraising to $15.7 million. He had $2.6 million in the bank at the end of the month.

Santorum, a former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, collected 53 percent of his money in contributions of $200 or less last month. He spent almost $8 million in February, including repaying $20,000 that he lent his campaign, for total expenditures of $13.1 million. He owed $922,448, including $489,304 for media and $293,973 for Internet services.

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia raised $2.6 million in February, bringing his total to $20.9 million. He spent $2.9 million last month and $19.4 million in total. Gingrich finished the month with $1.5 million in the bank and about the same amount in debt, including almost $200,000 for consulting, $184,302 for media and $119,045 in legal fees.

U.S. Representative Ron Paul of Texas reported on March 16 that he had raised $3.3 million last month and had $1.4 million in the bank. He has raised $34.4 million for his campaign. He spent $3.5 million in February and $33 million overall.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.


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