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Brown’s war chest hits $15m

Senator Scott Brown talked about his campaign in Chelmsford last month.

Brian Feulner for the Boston Globe/File

Senator Scott Brown talked about his campaign in Chelmsford last month.

US Senator Scott Brown’s campaign said he raised $3.4 million in the first three months of the year, giving the Republican about $15 million in the bank.

His main Democratic opponent, Elizabeth Warren, has not released her full tallies for the first quarter, but they are likely to be higher.

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Warren’s campaign said earlier this week that she had raised $2.5 million from Massachusetts residents alone. She has previously received more than 60 percent of her itemized contributions from out-of-state donors.

Both sides are working relentlessly to raise money in an election that is expected to be close, with control of the US Senate at stake.

About 71 percent of Brown’s first-quarter donors are from Massachusetts, his campaign said. His aides would not say how many dollars that represented, but the Warren campaign said in a release that it believes it has outraised Brown among Massachusetts residents in the same period.

So far, Brown has maintained a much larger war chest than Warren, with a balance of $12.9 million at the end of 2011. Warren had $6.1 million in the bank at that point.

But Brown had a head start, with money left over from his 2010 special election and additional money raised before Warren entered the race. Brown was heavily aided by out-of-state donors in that special election, when he became a national phenomenon and surprised the political establishment by defeating Attorney General Martha Coakley, a Democrat.

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Since declaring her candidacy in September and galvanizing liberal Democrats, Warren has been raising money at a fast clip: $5.7 million in the last three months of 2011 compared with Brown’s $3.2 million.

The Senate race is on pace to be among the most expensive in the country. But it may not generate as much spending as some estimated just a few months ago. That is because the two campaigns entered into a pact in January that has so far succeeded in curbing the influence of third-party groups seeking to spend money on advertising in the state. The campaigns agreed to pay a fine to charity in the event a political action committee or outside organization spends money to benefit a campaign.

In recent months, Brown’s campaign has made an issue of Warren’s out-of-state fund-raising, including support she has received from Hollywood. It continued to do so on Friday.

“The people of Massachusetts appreciate the independent, pro-jobs perspective that Senator Brown brings to each issue, and they have rewarded him with yet another strong quarter of fund-raising,’’ Brown campaign finance director John Cook said in a statement. “We will once again be outraised by the Hollywood elites and out-of-state liberals that are backing our opponent, but we will have resources we need to run our race.’’

On Friday, Warren’s campaign tried instead to emphasize her in-state contributions.

“More than 30,000 people from 350 towns across Massachusetts have made contributions to power Elizabeth’s fight for middle-class families, and we’re grateful for their support,’’ campaign manager Mindy Myers said in a statement.

Noah Bierman can be reached at nbierman@globe.com.

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