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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The campaign for presumptive Republican nominee for North Carolina governor Pat McCrory is picking up the pace with fundraising.

McCrory's campaign said Wednesday he raised nearly $1.7 million for the first 3 1/2 months of the year -- more than the $1.6 million he raised for the entire second half of 2011. Campaign spokesman Brian Nick also said the campaign has more than $3 million in the bank.

McCrory is one of six Republicans seeking the party's gubernatorial nomination May 8 but he's widely considered the front-runner. His position is allowing him to accumulate funds to run television commercials in the fall campaign while the leading Democratic candidates are competing hard against each other in next month's primary.

Candidates must file reports with the State Board of Elections by Monday.

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