Former state Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota (Pic by Meredith Hill, via myfloridahouse.gov)

Democrat Keith Fitzgerald’s campaign for Congress today announced that it raised nearly $300,000 in the first three months of 2012. Fitzgerald’s campaign received more than 1,500 individual contributions, with an average contribution of $136.

“I’m humbled to have the support of so many hardworking Floridians and seniors who simply want a representative willing to fight to protect Medicare, stand up for the middle-class and hold Congress accountable for how our tax dollars are spent,” said Fitzgerald, in a press release. “Unfortunately, Vern Buchanan has become a living breathing example of everything that is wrong with Congress. Taking huge amounts of money from every big special interest Washington has to offer and riddled with more scandals than any other member of Congress, Vern Buchanan is the problem. With the help of so many supporters, we will solve that problem in November. ”

According to Manatee Politics, Buchanan raised more than $484,000 in political contributions in the first three months of this year, and as of March 31 had $1.47 million in cash on hand for his reelection campaign.

Buchanan’s campaign funding has poured in despite the cloud of ongoing ethics investigation that hang over the congressman.

Buchanan is currently the subject of multiple congressional ethics probes and, according to one of his former employees, may be under investigation by the IRS.

Earlier this week, Sarasota seniors gathered to protest Buchanan’s approval of the Ryan budget plan, which would turn Medicare into a voucher program.

Official campaign finance reports for the first quarter of 2012 are due to the Federal Elections Commission by April 15.

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