Sen. Lindsey Graham has just completed his best fundraising quarter ever, leaving him with a total of $6.5 million in the bank as he prepares for a potential primary challenger in 2014.
The South Carolina Republican raised $1.4 million in the second quarter for his re-election bid, a figure that his supporters believe could help discourage a challenge from a conservative tea party candidate or at least put the incumbent in the position of being able to outspend any opponent.
"Momentum and resources continue to build," Graham campaign manager Scott Farmer told Politico. "We're assembling a top-notch campaign team, and we look forward to running a very aggressive campaign."
According to Politico
, possible primary challengers to Graham include state Sen. Lee Bright, businesswoman Nancy Mase, and former congressional candidate Richard Cash.
Up until this year, Graham's second best fundraising quarter was at the beginning of 2007, when he raised $1.2 million in anticipation of a 2008 primary election battle that never occurred.
Graham's campaign officials are hoping that potential primary challengers will back down again next year, but are preparing just in case. After all, two powerful Republican senators — Bob Bennett of Utah and Dick Lugar of Indiana — were defeated by conservative tea party primary challengers in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
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