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LS BERA VOTING 4.JPGDemocratic Rep. Ami Bera of Elk Grove raised more than $462,000 in the third quarter of 2013, outpacing a trio of Republican challengers and bringing his total cash on hand to nearly $899,000.

Of the GOP contenders vying to unseat the freshman congressman, former Rep. Doug Ose raised $247,000 and finished the quarter with $256,000 in the bank, according to his July 1 through Sept. 30 report.

Igor Birman, the longtime chief of staff to Rep. Tom McClintock, R-Elk Grove, took in nearly $163,000 and finished with $139,000 and autism advocate Elizabeth Emken amassed $64,000 to bring her campaign coffers to $337,000.

Bera, a creative fundraiser who last year defeated former Rep. Dan Lungren to win the redrawn 7th Congressional District, is a top target of the GOP given the electorate's nearly even split between Democrats and Republicans.

Bera has raised more than $1 million this year but said his focus remains on representing the district through tumultuous times in Washington.

"That means rebuilding an economy that works for middle class families and dealing with the very serious budget crisis our country is facing," Bera said. "That said, I remain humbled by the persistent grassroots support for our campaign, which is just further confirmation that Sacramento County families want a problem solver representing them in Congress who puts people before politics."

Ose, the former three-term congressman, retired a $250,000 debt from his primary defeat at the hands of McClintock in 2008. After entering the race early last month, he said the results demonstrate that his campaign is off to a strong start.

"Clearly the community is not satisfied with their representative in Congress, and believes our country is adrift at a time when the local economy is struggling and in need of jobs," Ose said.

Birman, casting himself as the lone conservative, said his report showed he's the only candidate with the resources to defeat the "liberal" Ose in June. Birman received 19 contributions of the maximum $5,200, of which only $2,600 could be spent in the primary.

Emken loaned her herself $35,000 in addition to the previous $250,000 she provided her campaign.

Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, leaves his polling place at Foulks Ranch Elementary School on Nov. 6, 2012. The Sacramento Bee/Lezlie Sterling



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