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Groups raise $32M to support Gov. Walker's presidential run
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Groups raise $32M to support Gov. Walker’s presidential run

Republican presidential candidate Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker addresses a crowd at Giese Manufacturing, Sunday, July 19, 2015, in Dubuque, Iowa. (Mike Burley/Telegraph Herald via AP)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Three groups supporting Scott Walker’s run for president have raised $32 million, which is less than what two of his Republican rivals have collected but on target with the Wisconsin governor’s goal for this point in the campaign, his top adviser said Tuesday.

The largest portion, $20 million, came from a super PAC. A tax-exempt group Walker created in advance of announcing his presidential run raised another $6.2 million, while his state campaign committee added an additional $5.9 million through June.

Walker’s fundraising pales in comparison to the $114 million former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush collected through the end of June from his super PAC and campaign committee. Walker’s $32 million also falls behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio whose campaign and two outside groups raised $44.7 million through June.

Still, Walker met his fundraising goals, said his top adviser Rick Wiley during a speech in Madison.

“I feel good about where we are,” Wiley said. “This is where I wanted to be. … Thirty-two million is a really good haul.”

Walker’s fundraising is impressive considering he didn’t formally enter the race until last week, said Keith Gilkes, Walker’s former gubernatorial campaign manager and chief of staff. He runs the super PAC along with Stephan Thompson, a former state Republican Party executive director who was Walker’s campaign manager last year.

The $20 million came from nearly 300 donors, Gilkes said. The money was collected between April 16 and the end of June. The group’s required filing with the Federal Elections Commission detailing who gave how much isn’t due until the end of this month.

Walker was first elected governor in 2010 and within months proposed effectively ending collective bargaining for most public workers, coupled with requiring them to pay more for health insurance and pension benefits to help solve a budget shortfall.

The fight led to a 2012 recall election against Walker, which he won, further raising his national political profile in advance of this year’s announcement that he hopes to run for the White House. Walker won re-election last year.

Wiley said he doesn’t see any of the early-voting states as a must-win for Walker, as long as he can finish in the top three in the first four states in order to advance. Walker spent the weekend in Iowa and planned to visit Tennessee, California, North Carolina and New Hampshire over the next four days.

His state campaign committee, Friends of Scott Walker, spent $5.7 million of the $5.9 million it raised in the first six months of this year. Much of that spending, on such things as mailers and travel expenses, were on efforts bolstering his presidential run.

Walker had $483,000 cash on hand at the beginning of July in that committee.

Our American Revival, the tax-exempt political group Walker formed in January, said it raised $6.2 million through the end of June. It acts like a super PAC and will file a report including donor names at the end of the month.

“These resources ensure that we can advocate for a leaner, more efficient, and more effective government, and for bold leaders from outside of Washington with a record of supporting these goals,” said Bridget Hagerty, the group’s executive director, in a written statement.

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This story has been corrected to show that Our American Revival said it raised $6.2 million in the first half of 2015, not the first quarter of the year.

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Follow Scott Bauer on Twitter at https://twitter.com/sbauerAP

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