HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut and AP) – Connecticut’s next U.S. Senate race isn’t until 2018, but Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy has already amassed more than $5 million.

The Democrat announced this week he raised $2 million in the second quarter of 2017 and he now has $5.1 million in cash on hand for his anticipated re-election campaign.

Murphy says he raised half of what he accumulated for his entire 2012 Senate campaign during the first six months of this year.

Murphy is attributing his fundraising success to “grassroots energy,” saying he’s “never seen anything like the passion on the ground in Connecticut right now.”

David Bergstein, press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, says Democrats across the country are “seeing incredibly strong fundraising.”

Branford Republican and businessman Dominic Rapini recently announced he is challenging Murphy.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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