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Florida Gov. Crist is filling campaign coffers for Senate run

Gov. Charlie Crist's fundraising for his U.S. Senate campaign has slowed to a breakneck pace.

After a record-setting debut of $4.3 million, Crist collected $2.4 million in the past three months, his campaign announced Thursday. That's more than any other non-incumbent Senate candidate across the country raised during that time, according to the national Republican Party.

The Crist campaign did not disclose how much of its latest haul is reserved for the general election and can't be used against his major Republican rival, Marco Rubio. The former House speaker collected nearly $1 million in the past three months, more than doubling his previous fundraising run but leaving him far behind the governor.

The names of the latest donors to state and federal candidates aren't available to the public yet, but the totals provide snapshots of the horse races in the 2010 campaign. The leading Republican candidate for governor, Bill McCollum, has been trying to put a positive spin in recent days on his second-place finish behind Democratic front-runner Alex Sink, who collected $1.6 million. McCollum raised less than $1 million in cash.

"The Democrats do have true competitors for the first time in a long time," said Republican political consultant Brett Doster. "It's certainly better to be on top than it is to be behind, but it's not a significant advantage yet."

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