Fresh off an easy re-election win in November, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan is well on his way to building a huge financial advantage over any prospective rivals for a 2012 race.
Buchanan, R-Sarasota, filed campaign finance reports showing that he raised $524,757.24 in contributions during the first three months of the year. That brought his total take for the 2012 election cycle to $558,486.87.
The donations boosted Buchanan's cash-on-hand in his campaign account from almost $957,000 on Jan. 1 to $1.362,234.81, as of March 31, according to the report filed with the Federal Elections Commission. Buchanan's campaign spent more than $119,000 in the first three months of this year.
Of the amount raised in the first three months of this year, $137,600 was received from individual donors; more than $129,000 came from political action committees; and more than $255,000 transferred from the American Victory Fund Committee, a political fund-raising group affiliated with Buchanan's campaign.
Buchanan also reported his campaign was carrying more than $656,000 in debts.
To review Buchanan's most recent campaign finance report, go here.