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Beruff up to $8M of his own money spent in uphill battle to defeat Rubio

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff is closing in on having spent more than $8 million of his own money in his bid to defeat U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio for re-election.

Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times editorial board on Wednesday, Beruff said he's already spent between $7.5 million and $8 million and is expecting to spend between $12 million and $15 million to win the Republican primary.

Beruff said he's not against fundraising, but said he didn't feel right asking his friends to risk money on what he called "a gamble."

"I'd rather gamble with my own money," Beruff said.

In his latest campaign finance report filed earlier this month, Beruff reported donating and loaning his campaign $4.2 million of his own money.

Most of his spending is directed at a nearly $1 million a week advertising campaign that is running statewide.

Beruff's self funding makes him the second biggest self-funder in the nation for a seat in Congress this year. Only Maryland Democrat David Trone, founder of Total Wine, spent more of his own money on a primary. Trone spent nearly $10 million of his own money in a losing effort to win a U.S. House seat in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. earlier this year. No other U.S. Senate candidate in the U.S. has spent more of their own money to win a seat this year than Beruff.