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Kirk Raises $2.3 Million for Bid to Win Obama’s Old Senate Seat

The Illinois Republican seeking the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama posted his strongest fundraising yet, even as he dealt with exaggerations and misstatements about his biography.

Representative Mark Kirk’s campaign said yesterday that he raised $2.3 million during this year’s second quarter, April 1 through June 30. Alexi Giannoulias, the Democratic nominee for the Senate seat, hadn’t reported his total as of late yesterday.

“Thank you so much for your incredible support,” Kirk said in an e-mail to supporters. “Because of you, we had the best fundraising quarter in Kirk campaign history.”

Giannoulias, 34, the Illinois treasurer, raised $1.2 million during the first quarter of 2010. Kirk, 50, a five-term House member from Chicago’s northern suburbs, raised $2.2 million during that quarter.

Kirk’s campaign said it raised $1 million in June -- its largest fundraising month -- during the time when he was dealing with questions about his service as a Navy reservist. At a June 29 news conference, Kirk apologized for the exaggerations and said he had been “careless.”

He has about $3.9 million in the bank for his Senate race, after raising almost $9 million so far this election cycle, according to a statement from his campaign.

Bank Closure

Giannoulias also faced challenges during the second quarter fundraising period. Since April 23, he has dealt with the political fallout from closure by regulators of the Chicago bank that his family owned.

Broadway Bank had been operating since January under terms of a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. because of commercial real-estate loan losses.

Giannoulias had fundraising help from the White House in June, when his campaign hosted events that featured Vice President Joe Biden, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and David Plouffe, who was Obama’s presidential campaign manager.

The Senate seat is held by Democrat Roland Burris, who isn’t seeking a full term. Republicans are trying to take advantage of ethical problems experienced by Illinois Democrats, including a public corruption trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich, who appointed Burris to complete Obama’s term shortly after the 2008 presidential election.

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