Allen West rakes in $1.6M

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Allen West is shown in a recent debate.
Allen West announced on Thursday he has raised $1.6 million in third-quarter campaign funds. | AP Photo Close

Florida Republican congressional candidate Allen West’s fundraising machine continues to churn.

West, a retired Army officer and Iraq war veteran who is trying to unseat Democratic Rep. Ron Klein, announced on Thursday that he had raised $1.6 million in third-quarter campaign funds — an astonishing sum that surpasses his $1.4 million second-quarter total.

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The Republican has emerged as a fundraising powerhouse, raking in more than $5.4 million so far for his campaign. Klein, who has yet to announce his third-quarter figures, had raised $2.5 million though Aug. 4. West’s second-quarter takeaway was the highest of any GOP non-incumbent candidate so far.

In a statement announcing his haul, West noted that “over 97 percent of our donations have come from individual contributions." His campaign said the average contribution was about $78.

West, a tea party favorite who has won the backing of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, was outspent by nearly $1.8 million during a failed 2008 bid to oust Klein. During that matchup, Klein won handily.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has so far shied away from airing TV ads in the South Florida-based district, but West will pick up a boost in the coming weeks when American Crossroads, a conservative outside group linked to Karl Rove, will begin airing spots targeting Klein.

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