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Atwater crushes Bird in fundraising

Democratic candidate Linda Bird raised roughly $25,000 in her high-profile bid to unseat the incoming state Senate president, according to the first campaign finance report released since she entered the race last month.

Bird's two-week total trails incumbent Sen. Jeff Atwater, a North Palm Beach Republican, who raised about $111,000 in the same period.

Atwater's total brings his campaign war chest to more than $2.2 million, and money raised by a third-party electioneering group controlled by the candidate leaves him with close to $3 million.

Bird, a Broward political activist and real estate agent, began the campaign for the coastal district stretching from Broward to Palm Beach last month. The state Democratic Party tapped Bird after former state Sen. Walter ''Skip'' Campbell pulled out of the race in July.

Bird's late entry makes her attempt to unseat Atwater a long shot, but political observers say the Florida Democratic Party likely will help her effort.

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