Washington (CNN) - Some new fundraising figures bolster the notion that this year's battle in Virginia for an open Senate seat could be one of the most expensive Senate races this cycle.
Former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine's Senate campaign announced Tuesday that they raised more than $2.2 million in the past three months, and that they have $4.4 million cash on hand. The first quarter haul is a jump from the $1.65 million the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee raised in the fourth quarter of last year.
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The campaign also touted their low dollar donations, with 6,000 contributions of $200 or less brought in over the past three months. They say that brings to more than 14,000 the number of low-dollar donors.
"We are extremely proud that thousands of Virginians have embraced Governor Kaine's commitment to bring Virginia answers to Washington," said Kaine Communications Director Brandi Hoffine, in a statement "Last week, in a show of grassroots strength, we submitted more than 30,000 signatures from Virginians supporting Governor Kaine for U.S. Senate. The thousands of new low-dollar donors from this quarter alone are another testament to the growing enthusiasm for our campaign."
Overall, the campaign says they've brought in more than $7.4 million since Kaine jumped into the contest last year. Kaine's likely GOP opponent in November, former Virginia Gov. and Sen. George Allen, has not yet released his first quarter figures. Allen's campaign did bring in $1.1 million for the fourth quarter, and $4.5 million since their start up early last year.
Kaine doesn't have any primary opponents, while Allen faces off against three competitors in the June primary.
The winner will succeed Democratic Sen. Jim Webb, who's not running for a second term in office. Webb narrowly edged out Allen in the 2006 election.
The Senate battle in Virginia's expected to be one of the most high profile and expensive Senate contests this year. The Democrats currently have a 53-47 majority in the chamber, which includes two independent senators who caucus with the Democrats. But the party's defending 23 of the 33 Senate seats up for grabs this year.
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George Allen first needs to survive his primary. Who is the Tea Party candidate in the primary? Let's get the Tea Party involved in the race. We can see how well that worked out in 2010. Tea Party candidates lost almost all of the major races.