Tong raises more than $500,000 for U.S. Senate bid

William Tong said he’s raised about $550,000 in the 53 days since he jumped into the 2012 U.S. Senate contest. Tong’s campaign said Tuesday that he ended the 2nd fundraising quarter, which ran from April through June, with more than $500,000 cash on hand.

Tong, a Democrat and state representative from Stamford, is in a three-way primary contest to replace retiring Sen. Joseph Lieberman.

The two other announced Democratic candidates–Susan Bysiewicz, the former secretary of the state who was the first to announce her Senate bid, and Rep. Chris Murphy, who currently represents Connecticut’s 5th congressional district–said they would not be releasing fundraising figures yet. Their official reports to the Federal Election Commission aren’t due until July 15.

Tong said his fundraising figures illustrate that he’s a top-tier contender. “This proves I am going to have the resources to run an aggressive campaign and win this race,” Tong said in a statement.

It also shows that he’s running a lean operation. Asked how much Tong spent, his campaign manager Marc Bradley said they were still tallying up their expenditures but that it was probably less than $50,000. “We’ve done a good job with the keeping the burn down,” Bradley said.

In the 1st quarter of the campaign, Murphy reported raising just over $1 million, and he had about $944,000 cash-on-hand as of March 31th, the end of that quarter. Bysiewicz raised just over $500,000 in the 1st quarter and ended that period with about $454,000 in the bank.

Tong announced May 8, after the 1st quarter ended. No Republican candidate has officially announced a bid yet.