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Barber raises more than $100K in opening days of campaign

This Jan. 23, 2012 file photo shows U.S. Rep Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., touring the Gabrielle Giffords Family Assistance Center, one of her favorite charities, with her staffer Ron Barber in Tucson, Ariz. Barber, a top aide to former Congresswoman Giffords, is expected announce his candidacy to run in a special election to serve as an interim replacement for the Arizona Democrat who was wounded in a shooting rampage a year ago. (AP Photo/Matt York, Pool, File)

After just four days, Ron Barber has raised more money and attracted more contributors than some campaigns have gotten in months.

Through the online Democratic fundraising PAC ActBlue, Barber raised about $110,000 from 1,715 contributors through Monday morning, according to his campaign.

Barber, a former top aide to Gabrielle Giffords, announced on Thursday that he would seek to finish out the former congresswoman’s term in a June special election in the 8th Congressional District.

Barber was shot twice in a Jan. 8, 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson that left Giffords gravely injured, as well as wounding 11 others and killing six people.

Barber’s campaign started out with a goal of getting 1,000 donors by Monday, a benchmark the campaign beat within 12 hours, according to spokesman Rodd McLeod.

The total only includes money raised for Barber’s campaign through ActBlue, and does not count checks sent to the campaign or other money raised outside of ActBlue’s activities. McLeod would not release other fundraising details, saying they would be included in Barber’s next filing with the Federal Election Commission.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is helping Barber raise money, and his announcement that he would run in the special election cleared the field of other potential Democratic candidates.

With no primary opponents, Barber will be able to preserve his campaign war chest while the Republicans face off in a four-way primary. Republicans who are seeking the nomination include state Sen. Frank Antenori; Jesse Kelly, who narrowly lost to Giffords in the 2010 general election; Dave Sitton, a University of Arizona sports broadcaster and retired Air Force pilot Col. Martha McSally.

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