Tuesday April 10, 2012 | 11:11 AM

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rick Bennett has been quietly building a campaign fund and campaign team, and will unveil both in a news release today.

Bennett, a business executive and former Maine Senate president, said he raised just under $108,000 in less than one month, ending March with nearly $105,000 cash-on-hand.

(Update: Bennett's campaign said the total does not include any loans to the campaign from Bennett. The candidate and his wife did contribute $5,000, which is equivalent to the maximum individual donation of $2,500 each.)

He also has added some familiar names to his campaign team. Former Maine House Republican Leader Josh Tardy of Newport is treasurer. Former Maine State Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Chris Jackson is campaign manager. Brent Littlefield, best known as Gov. LePage’s political strategist, is general consultant to the campaign. And Ann Robinson, a Republican activist, lawyer and influential lobbyist, is serving as campaign counsel.

Each campaign’s financial statements for the quarter that ended March 31 are due by April 15. We asked all 10 certified candidates – six Republicans and four Democrats – to send us their numbers as soon as they are ready.

Bennett and Democrat Benjamin Pollard were the first.

Pollard, a Portland businessman, said he had loaned his campaign $7,800 as of March 31, and had $1,037 on hand.

Bennett’s campaign says it reached its goal for the month, and the early numbers do seem strong.

Former Gov. Angus King, who is running as an independent, is also raising money at a good pace. A campaign spokeswoman said the numbers are still getting crunched, but the campaign raised about $135,000 in March.

King has said he wants to ultimately raise as much as $3 million for his campaign.

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or erussell@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or mbyrne@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or rbillings@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or mshepherd@centralmaine.com
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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