Senate Republican Candidate, Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz speaks during the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 28, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. (credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

AUSTIN (AP) – Republican and rising national tea party star Ted Cruz said Monday that he raised $3.5 million between July and September, or about 10 times the amount of donations secured by his Democratic opponent for Texas’ open U.S. Senate seat.

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Cruz, a former state solicitor general, said Monday that he had $2 million cash-on-hand after raising $3.5 million in the third fundraising quarter between July 1 and Sept. 30.

He is the prohibitive favorite against ex-Democratic state Rep. Paul Sadler to replace retiring Republican U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Sadler, an attorney who represented the East Texas town of Henderson from 1991 until 2003 in the Texas House, said he raised nearly $359,000 over the same period and had about $134,000 cash-on-hand as of Sept. 30. He said that was nearly three times the amount he had raised prior to securing the Democratic senatorial nomination during a July 31 runoff election.

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But that paled in comparison to Cruz, who turned heads across the country when he upset Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the choice of most of the mainstream Texas GOP, in a runoff for the Republican senatorial nomination.

Cruz said that $2 million of what he raised last quarter came after his primary victory. He has now raised about $11.8 million overall and gotten donations from all but 10 of Texas’ 254 counties.

Sadler reports raising more than $497,000 overall from nearly 5,000 total contributions.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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