Washington – Sen. Chris Murphy on Tuesday said his election campaign has raised $3 million in the first three months of this year, mostly from small donations.
Murphy, a freshman senator, is up for re-election next year. He has no announced GOP rival yet, although Connecticut Republican Party chief J.R. Romano says two members of the party with experience in the General Assembly are interested in challenging Murphy.
Murphy said he has received 66,039 donations averaging $42 per contribution this year and ended the first quarter of the year with nearly $3.5 million in cash-on-hand.
“I’m amazed at the passion and enthusiasm of our grassroots supporters. I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Murphy. “I’m incredibly grateful for such broad support. It reinforces my strong belief that if you listen to the people you serve and work hard for them, they’ll stand up and be there for you.”
His first-quarter campaign report to the Federal Elections Commission is likely to be made public next week.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Senate races have become more costly with each passing cycle. It said the average winning Senate candidate spent more than $10.4 million last year.
When Murphy first ran for the Senate in 2012, GOP challenger Linda McMahon spent more than $50 million, most of it her own money, in her bid for the seat left open by the retirement of former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Murphy raised about $10.5 million to defeat McMahon, who is now the head of the Small Business Administration.
Murphy said his success in early fundraising has allowed his campaign to hire staff — even though the election is 18 months away — and launch “Fight Back Connecticut” last week.
That is a volunteer-driven effort to “defeat the reckless policies of the Trump administration,” said Murphy’s campaign.
Fight Back Connecticut will work in collaboration with the campaigns of the Connecticut Congressional delegation and the Connecticut Democratic Party to recruit and train volunteers and coordinate with other groups in the state who oppose Trump administration policies, the campaign said.