Broun is top congressional campaign earner

U.S. Rep. Paul Broun, R-Athens, has raised more money this year for his re-election campaign than any other Georgia congressman.

Broun has raised $662,000 so far this year, including $390,000 in April, May and June, according to campaign finance documents filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.

Broun still is paying bills and retiring debt from past races, spokeswoman Pepper Pennington said.

He struggled to raise money as an underdog in a 2007 special election and 2008 Republican primary. Since then, he's outpaced his colleagues - even those who, unlike him, are likely to face stiff opposition in 2010. Broun's Northeast Georgia district is considered safe for a Republican incumbent.

Broun went more than $370,000 into debt to win and defend his seat, including $214,000 of his own money he loaned to his campaign. The campaign has paid off $48,000 of debt and intends to pay the remainder, Pennington said.

Most of Broun's 578 contributors were individuals. The majority of his donations from political action committees came from medical associations, which gave the physician nearly $20,000. Broun has staunchly opposed Democrats' plans for health care reform.

Other than paying debts, most of Broun's $279,000 in spending during the second quarter of the year went toward fundraising expenses such as consulting and direct mail. He also reported spending $85.65 on his trademark pocket-size copies of the Constitution.

Broun had $151,000 on hand as of June 30.

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