Manchin builds fundraising lead in West Virginia Senate race

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin has built a significant fundraising chest in his bid for a second full six-year term, far outpacing West Virginia Republicans hoping to defeat him this fall.

Filings with the Federal Election Commission show Manchin’s campaign has raised $4.5 million since the start of 2017 and had $5.4 million cash on hand at the end of March.

Manchin faces Paula Jean Swearengin in the May 8 Democratic primary. Swearengin reports raising $179,000 and has $54,000 cash on hand.

Six candidates are running in the GOP primary. Former Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship has self-funded his campaign with $2 million in loans. U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins and state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey each has raised more than $1.4 million and has about $1.3 million cash on hand.

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