Democrat Jim Graves raised almost $413,000 in the second quarter of this year for his congressional campaign.

Graves, a wealthy businessman who is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann in the newly redistricted sixth district, has raised more than half a million dollars so far this year -- although half that total came out of his own deep pockets, according to his latest report ot the Federal Election Commission.

“What is clear is that momentum is building around the Jim Graves campaign,” Graves spokesperson Donald McFarland said in a statement Thursday morning.  “With strong fundraising and polling that indicates that the race is very close, this is now one of the Congressional races to watch this year.”

Bachmann, a prolific fundraiser, has not yet released her second-quarter report.She raised more than $12 million so far this election cycle, but spent more than $13 million as she worked to pay down debts from her presidential campaign.

Graves, whose personal wealth is somewhere between $22 million and $111 million, donated $150,000 to his campaign last quarter.  So far, he's spent $250,000 of his own money on his campaign.

He raised another $245,000 from individual donations and $17,750 from political action committees, including several union PACs and $1,000 from U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum’s congressional committee.

Graves headed into July with more than $404,000 in cash on hand.

In a recent interview with the Star Tribune, Graves said: “I don’t believe in buying elections. I don’t believe in self-funding. If this is going to take traction, you want people’s support.” 

He fed $100,000 into his campaign in the early months, followed by another $150,000 in the second quarter. Graves said he could probably fund the entire $3 to $4 million he thinks he will need but he won’t. “I just don’t think that’s the right message for the district, I don’t believe it is the right message for the country.”



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