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Elizabeth Warren outdoes Scott Brown in fund-raising

Democrat Elizabeth Warren continued to raise more money than her Republican opponent, Senator Scott Brown, taking in $3.7 million to his $2.3 million over the last six weeks, according to federal records released Monday.

Brown, however, still has more money in the bank — $14.2 million to Warren’s $12.3 million, as the candidates head into the closing months of what has become the nation’s most expensive congressional race.

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The flood of money has allowed both candidates to spend heavily on a deluge of ads that is expected to increase until Election Day in November.

Warren spent about $4.9 million while Brown spent about $3.9 million between July 1 and Aug. 17. That is a significantly higher rate of spending than in the previous three months combined, when Warren spent about $6.1 million and Brown about $4.4 million.

The candidates dropped money on consultants, hotels, meals, and office supplies. But the bulk of their money went to advertising.

Brown, for instance, spent $2.8 million in the last six weeks at Multi Media Services Corp., a Virginia agency that buys ads for candidates and political groups and whose clients have included Bob Dole’s presidential campaign and the US Chamber of Commerce.

Warren spent $2.3 million in the same period at Media Strategies & Research, another Virginia ad buying agency.

On Tuesday, Brown launches a new television ad focused on the fishing industry. The ad shows the senator, dressed in a Bruins shirt, driving his pickup truck and talking to fishermen on the docks of Gloucester. He says the industry has been hit hard by overregulation and crushing fines.

“Totally killing us,” one fisherman says. “We don’t sleep nights.”

Brown says, “Our fishermen deserve better and I’m going to be fighting to protect them.”

In addition to focusing on the plight of an iconic industry, the ad is part of Brown’s effort to lean heavily on his homegrown, blue-collar image and draw an implicit contrast with Warren, a Harvard Law School professor.

On Monday, Warren began airing another new television ad, a direct appeal to women. The ad shows Warren speaking to the camera about equal pay laws and reproductive rights. As she speaks, images of young women from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds are shown.

“We’re still fighting to protect a woman’s right to choose nearly 40 years after Roe v. Wade,” Warren says in the spot. “And we could be just one Supreme Court justice away from losing it. How can this be happening in 2012?”

The ad is part of Warren’s campaign to raise her standing among women by warning that Brown, a supporter of abortion rights, could tip control of the Senate to Republicans, who oppose legalized abortion. Most polls show Warren with a lead over Brown among female voters, but potentially not enough to overcome a larger advantage Brown has among male voters.

The brisk pace of fund-raising is expected to allow the candidates to turn over ads more quickly, responding quickly to issues as they crop up.

Warren has built one of the nation’s most formidable campaign finance operations, powered by legions of supporters in Massachusetts and across the country, who have been galvanized by her unsparing criticism of Wall Street and big banks.

But Brown has been bringing in large sums as well and had $7 million left in the bank from his 2010 Senate race, allowing him to maintain a larger war chest than Warren.

The race is being closely watched by partisans across the country as one of a handful of contests critical to control of the Senate.

“Elizabeth is grateful for the strong grass-roots support she’s received throughout this campaign,” said Julie Edwards, a Warren spokeswoman. “People across the Commonwealth are joining this effort because they want a senator who will do more than say the right things some of the time, while voting for big oil and billionaires.”

Throughout the campaign, Brown has raised more large donations than Warren within Massachusetts.

“Scott Brown’s projobs message continues to resonate with the people at home who know him best, and we are extremely grateful for this outpouring of support,” said Alleigh Marré, a Brown spokeswoman.

“As we move into the home stretch, our campaign will have the resources it needs to contrast Scott Brown’s proven record of independent leadership against Professor Warren’s extreme left-wing views and job-destroying policies,” Marré said.

In another fiercely fought race, Republican congressional candidate Richard R. Tisei continued to outraise his Democratic opponent, Representative John F. Tierney of Salem, collecting $173,00 to Tierney’s $126,000 over the last six weeks.

But Tierney has more cash on hand, $729,00, to Tisei’s $631,00.

Though Tisei raised more money during the period, Tierney’s haul shows he was able to stay competitive at a time when he was facing renewed attention on the gambling ring that was run by his brothers-in-law.

In another major race, Joseph P. Kennedy III, a scion of the famous family who is running for the seat long held by Barney Frank, continues to crush his competitors in fund-raising. Kennedy, who faces two little-known Democrats in the Sept. 6 primary, collected $478,000 in the last six weeks and now has $1.96 million in the bank.

He is expected to begin the general election with a significant financial advantage over the winner of the Sept. 6 Republican primary.

In that primary, Sean Bielat, who ran against Frank two years ago, raised $58,000 in the same period, and has $63,000 cash on hand.

Elizabeth Childs, a Brookline psychiatrist, collected $21,800 and has $21,000 in the bank. And David Steinhof, a Fall River dentist, collected $12,740 and has $8,600 in the bank.

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com.
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