DFLer Ashwin Madia, a Third Congressional District candidate, announced Monday that his campaign raised $692,000 during the second quarter of this year, besting Republican opponent Erik Paulsen by $90,000 for that period.

The Third Congressional District, which includes the Twin Cities western suburbs, is considered one of the most hotly contested races this year with the retirement of longtime Rep. Jim Ramstad, a Republican.

Since announcing his candidacy in October, Madia, an Iraq war veteran and first-time office seeker, has raised a total of $1,052,812, his campaign said.

Paulsen, a member of the state House of Representatives and onetime Republican majority leader, announced last week that he raised more than $620,000 in the second quarter and had cash on hand of $1.1 million. Madia's cash on hand is about $738,000.

Last week, DFL Party officials appeared to be lowering expectations about Madia's fundraising, pointing out that he battled through a bruising endorsement contest while Paulsen was endorsed without opposition.

David Dillon is the endorsed candidate in the district for the Independence Party. He raised just more than $16,300 this quarter and finished with cash on hand of just over $16,000. He has raised $47,663 this election cycle.

MARK BRUNSWICK