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Utahns help Paul rake in $5 million in 3rd quarter

Ron Paul
Ron Paul

Some presidential candidates already are releasing how much money they raised during the third quarter of the year, including Republican Ron Paul, who held two fund-raisers in Salt Lake City last month.

Paul's campaign reported Wednesday he raised more than $5 million between the beginning of July and the end of September — an increase of 114 percent of what the Texas congressman collected during the year's second quarter.

Just how much of that cash came from predominantly Republican Utah, though, was not released by the campaign. Candidates have until Oct. 15 to file the detailed financial disclosure reports required by the Federal Elections Commission.

Paul was one of several presidential candidates who traveled to Utah to raise money during the third quarter. The onetime Libertarian candidate, who has attracted followers with an anti-government and anti-war message, held two events in Salt Lake City on Sept. 15.

One, a brunch, required a minimum contribution of $1,000 to attend and the other, an evening reception, at least $2,000, just under the $2,300 maximum contribution allowed under federal law during the primary campaign.

An organizer of the events for Paul said the candidate told supporters at a rally in the Union Pacific Depot at The Gateway that he'd brought in about $500,000 from a week of fund-raising activities in the West, including Utah.

Paul, who had raised just over $3 million by midyear, surprised some political observers with his third-quarter performance, especially since he trails in polls., an online political publication, called the total released by Paul "striking."

Of the leading GOP candidates, only former Tennessee senator and actor Fred Thompson has released his third-quarter fund-raising total. Thompson, who formally entered the race early last month, took in more than $8 million.

Still to report among the Republican front-runners are former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who has consistently raised more money in Utah, by far, than any other candidate.

Giuliani reportedly received more than $500,000 at events in Alpine and Park City during his second campaign stop in Utah, in early August. Romney took in at least $200,000 at Sept. 28 events in St. George and Salt Lake City.

The only Democrat who came to Utah during the third quarter was Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. Obama, who attracted hundreds of Utahns to an impromptu rally near Kimball Junction off I-80, was said to have raised around $250,000 from a Park City fund-raiser.