Hawaii's U.S. Senate Candidates Raise Big Bucks But Are Spending Frugally

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The closely watched race for Hawaii's open U.S. Senate seat is taking financial shape as the frontrunners plump up their campaign treasuries in anticipation of what promises to be a hard-fought general election.

U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono, a Democrat, took in just over $1 million in the three-month reporting period that ended March 31. She has about $1.6 million in the bank, according to a Federal Election Commission report posted online Sunday.

Still, her Republican rival, former Gov. Linda Lingle, collected more than $1.3 million in the same period and ended the quarter with about $2.2 million in the bank, at least for now a sizable cash advantage over Hirono.

Lingle received more than $1.1 million in individual contributions and $189,000 from political action committees.

Hirono collected about $751,000 from individuals, $139,000 from PACs and $23,000 from Democratic party committees.

Lingle has no serious opponent going into the Aug. 11 primary, so she's not being forced to spend heavily to fend off an early challenge. John Carroll, a Republican who has filed for the seat, turned in a 14-page handrwitten report to the FEC for this quarter, showing he raised about $2,700 but has a campaign debt of more than $21,000. Lingle's report ran 485 pages.

Hirono does face a serious primary challenge from former Congressman Ed Case. But he has fallen behind in his ability to raise significant campaign funds, collecting about $138,000 this last quarter. He reported about $211,000 cash on hand as of March 31.

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