Ron Paul’s funds tops other long shots

Ron Paul, the Texas congressman running a long-shot campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, raised $2.4 million from April through June and ended the quarter with a similar amount in the bank, according to financial reports filed Sunday.

The total is a remarkable showing for Paul, putting him ahead of Arizona Sen. John McCain in cash on hand. While Paul has raised far less than McCain or the other leading Republicans, his libertarian views and opposition to the war in Iraq have lit a fire among nontraditional contributors, particularly on the Internet. About half of his total came from contributions of less than $200.

Despite his relative success in fundraising, he still barely registers in public opinion polls. For the most part, Paul has relied on his debate appearances and on an online network to spread his message. He also spent $120,000 on printing and mailing fundraising letters, his single biggest expense.

Overall, he has raised $3 million for the year and spent $646,000.

Republican Mike Huckabee raised $764,000 for his presidential campaign from April through June and had $437,000 cash on hand at the end of last month, according to his financial reports.

The former Arkansas governor spent nearly $703,000 during those three months. More than half went for payroll, travel, and media and fundraising consultants.

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson raised $461,000 in the second quarter, according to his filing with the Federal Election Commission. He reported nearly $122,000 cash on hand, but also listed debts and obligations of more than $127,000.

Lackluster performance in the second quarter already caused one Republican candidate to quit the race. Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore announced Saturday he was withdrawing. On Sunday he reported $62,000 cash on hand and $129,000 in debts and obligations.

Huckabee has tried to court conservatives to establish himself as an alternative to the leading Republicans in the field — Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain. Still, Huckabee’s report shows him as a distant contender in the race for contributors.

Romney and Giuliani both reported their finances on Friday. McCain and most of the Democratic candidates had until midnight Sunday to file their reports.

Arkansas was Huckabee’s most generous state, with donors there providing $3 of every $8 he raised. He also raised nearly $118,000 in Texas.

Overall, Huckabee has raised $1.3 million for the year. He listed $31,000 in debts and obligations.