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House Democrats best GOP rival in fundraising

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By PHILIP ELLIOTT
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - Donors keep opening their wallets for campaign committees and outside groups to pack the airwaves with ads and stuff mailboxes full of political mail. Some highlights from campaign finance reports filed Tuesday:

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HOUSE COMMITTEES RAISE CASH

House Democrats' campaign arm once again outraised its Republican rival last month, according to summaries of fundraising reports.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $10.9 million from donors in June and has $50.9 million in its bank accounts, officials said. At the same time, the National Republican Congressional Committee said donors gave another $9.6 million to the committee tasked with keeping House Republicans in the majority.

The Democrats' campaign committee has outraised the GOP in 16 of the last 18 months despite long odds of tipping control of the chamber away from Republicans. The Democrats have now raised almost $125 million since the last elections and have been spending heavily to help their incumbents and candidates.

House Republicans' campaign arm has raised $101 million this election cycle and has $42.5 million in the bank.

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BUSINESS SPENDING HEAVY

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's political arm spent $11.3 million during the past three months on roughly two dozen races, according to its finance reports.

The biggest spending was in Georgia, where the lobbying group backed Rep. Jack Kingston for Senate with $1.6 million in ads. Kingston advanced to a July 22 runoff against businessman David Perdue.

The group also spent $1.1 million in Colorado, where GOP Rep. Cory Gardner is trying to topple Democratic Sen. Mark Udall.

The Chamber also spent $700,000 on last-minute ads to help Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran beat back a surprising tea party challenger in both a primary and a runoff.

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BOEHNER HAS $6M QUARTER

House Speaker John Boehner had a $6.2 million quarter.

Boehner's national fundraising team raised $5 million while his leadership committee, Freedom Project, pulled in another almost $300,000. His Ohio-focused re-election campaign raised $870,000 and has almost $2 million in the bank.

The Ohio Republican also has boosted House Republicans' campaign committee with $3.7 million so far.

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READY FOR HILLARY POCKETS ANOTHER $2.5M

A super PAC backing a potential Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential bid raised another $2.5 million in the past three months.

Ready for Hillary, which is not affiliated with the former first lady, has raised more than $8 million since it started laying the groundwork for another Clinton presidential bid. The vast majority if its donors - 98 percent - gave less than $100.

Should Clinton decide to mount a White House bid, the group's list of donors and supporters could be a valuable starting point for her campaign.

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CARSON KEEPS DRAWING DONORS

The political organization run by Ben Carson, the Fox News contributor and potential 2016 presidential candidate, raised $1.2 million and spent $1.1 million of it.

The American Legacy PAC reported its fundraising has now reached $2.4 million for this election cycle and has built a donor base of 350,000 Americans.

Carson, a former neurosurgeon, became an instant star among conservatives after a fiery 2013 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast with President Barack Obama sitting nearby. If Carson decides to run, he will be able to tap those supporters for early campaign cash.

Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker and presidential hopeful, advises the group.

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Follow Philip Elliott on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/philip_elliott

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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