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Franken raised $2.7 million in 2014’s first quarter

Franken says he received more than 76,000 donations during the quarter, with 97 percent of them under $100.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken, who is running for a second six-year term in November, raised $2.7 million in the first three months of 2014, his campaign said Friday.

He now has about $5.9 million on hand as he prepares for an as-yet-to-be-determined Republican challenger to emerge. Many GOP candidates are vying for the party endorsement, and Franken’s steady fundraising and stash of cash can be seen as a hopeful deterrent to big national Republican money coming into the race.

Franken’s campaign said there were 76,000 donations in the first quarter, with 97 percent of them under $100. More than 25,000 of the donors were first-time Franken contributors, his campaign said.

Said Matt Burgess, Franken’s campaign manager:

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“Outside special interest groups have already started pouring money into Minnesota and we’re building the best thing to combat their money: a strong grassroots campaign.”