LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire – Rep. Ron Paul disclosed more than $5 million in third-quarter fund raising for his insurgent Republican presidential bid, the only Republican in the field so far to report increased donations.
While the Texas lawmaker remains a second-tier candidate in a party field dominated by the likes of Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, his grass-roots campaign continues to build steam, thanks to thousands of small donors over the Internet.
Campaign spokesman Jesse Benton estimates that as much as 80% of the campaign’s donations are received online. In the final week of the third quarter, Dr. Paul, a licensed obstetrician, raised $1.2 million in Internet donations alone. The $5 million haul more than doubles his $2.4 million showing in the second quarter.
The funds will allow him to increase staff from 44 to 50 aides and to conduct his first major media buy heading into the crucial early primaries. The campaign has set a goal of $12 million for the fourth quarter.
Dr. Paul’s fund-raising successes are a sign of a fluid Republican presidential race. His $5 million is half the approximate $10 million that Messrs. Giuliani and Romney each are expected to report, although neither candidate has officially released numbers. Former Sen. Fred Thompson is expected to report around $8 million in third-quarter fund raising.