Washington (CNN) - The Republican Governors Association announced Tuesday that it spent $102 million in the midterm elections and an additional $12.5 million on the 2009 governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia.
The RGA fundraising figures, if we are to believe them and we have no reason not to, demonstrate what we already knew: the organization became a dominant political player in this election cycle after its chairman, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, was forced to step down. Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour stepped in and took the RGA's reins in June 2009 after Sanford admitted to having an extra-marital affair.
Over the past 24 hours, the RGA has been issuing memos detailing its political activity and this afternoon released its financial expenditures for the 2010 elections. A significant bullet point the RGA highlighted is that it invested $1 million or more in 21 states.
There are 37 gubernatorial races on the line Tuesday with Democrats defending 19 seats with Republicans trying to hold on to 17 seats (CNN categorizes Florida as being held by an independent after Gov. Charlie Crist left the GOP earlier this year). The Rothenberg Political Report () predicts Republicans will pick up between five to seven seats.
The RGA's fundraising prowess will only help fuel speculation that Barbour will seek the Republican presidential nomination as well as make RGA Executive Director Nick Ayers a hot commodity heading into 2012.