(CNN) – Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter raised more than $1.7 million for the quarter – putting him just ahead of Republican challenger Pat Toomey's $1.6 million – but actually cleared less than a million dollars, thanks in part to $225,000 in refunds to GOP colleagues and constituents after he switched parties in April.
The Pennsylvania senator returned $75,000 to fellow lawmakers in his former party who had donated to his re-election bid, his campaign confirmed Wednesday. The balance, roughly $150,000, was sent back to individual Republican donors who requested refunds.
Republican leaders had urged Specter's GOP constituents to ask for their money back, but a Specter spokesman says the requests have died down considerably since spring. The incumbent, who has the public backing of President Obama and top Democratic officials, still boasts a campaign war chest of around $7.5 million – more than $3 million more than his potential primary challenger, Rep. Joe Sestak.