US & Canada

Rick Perry raises $17m in his first quarter of campaign

Republican presidential candidate and Texas Governor Rick Perry at the 2011 World's Championship Chili Cookoff in Manchester, New Hampshire, 1 October 2011
Image caption Rick Perry announced his campaign for the White House in mid-August

Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry has confirmed his fundraising power by pulling in $17m (£11m) in his first seven weeks of campaigning.

Money has poured in from more than 22,000 contributors, half of them from the Texas governor's home state.

Main rival Mitt Romney has not posted his third-quarter figures yet, but he was expected to raise less than the $18m he reported in his first quarter.

The two frontrunners are vying to become the Republican nominee.

In the November 2012 general election, Republicans will need to raise large amounts to compete with President Barack Obama, who brought in a record-breaking $750m in 2008.

Mr Obama raised $47m in his first fundraising period, plus nearly $40m from the Democratic National Committee.

Mr Perry announced his campaign for the White House in mid-August, half way into the third quarter.

The figures which emerged on Wednesday exceed his campaign's widely reported internal goal of raising $10m for the quarter which ended on 30 September.

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told the Associated Press news agency: "Team Perry understands the cardinal rule of politics - under-sell and over-deliver."

Mr Perry shot to the front of the pack after declaring his candidacy, but his lead has appeared fragile recently, after TV debate stumbles and controversial remarks while campaigning.

Focus has swung back to Mr Perry and Mr Romney after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Tuesday he would not run for president.

Of the other presidential contenders, only Texas congressman Ron Paul can come close to the frontrunners' fundraising. He raised $8m in the third quarter.

The others - including businessman Herman Cain, Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann, former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum - are expected to trail far behind.

Official totals for the third quarter of 2011, as reported to the Federal Election Commission, will be available on 15 October.

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