Mark Kirk Reports Big Money Haul In Senate Race

Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk said Monday he has raised $1.6 million in the past three months and has $2.3 million in his campaign coffers in his bid to wrest President Obama's former Senate seat away from the Democratic Party, the AP reports.

The Federal Election Commission's (FEC) filing deadline for the 3rd quarter report was midnight on September 30, and official reports of how much all candidates raised aren't released until later this month.

Kirk faces a primary challenge from Hinsdale developer Patrick Hughes, who has assailed Kirk's conservative credentials and was endorsed last week by former Bears coach Mike Ditka.

Kirk's fundraising claims prompted a ding from the campaign of Democratic candidate Alexi Giannoulias, who has pledged not to accept money from corporate PACs and federal lobbyists.

"Mark Kirk has taken over 3.5 million dollars from PACs in his career and they own him," the campaign said in a statement. "Anything else his campaign says is simply not true. Rather than making false accusations, he should immediately release the amount of money he raised this quarter from federal lobbyists and corporate PACs."

Giannoulias, the State Treasurer, Cheryle Robinson Jackson, a former Blagojevich spokesperson on leave from her job as Chicago Urban League President, former Chicago Inspector General David Hoffman and attorney Jacob Meister are vying for the Democratic nomination.