Oct. 26 (UPI) -- Third quarter presidential campaign fundraising numbers are in and former President Donald Trump is leading all candidates with more than $60 million raised.
More than $280 million has been raised among all candidates as of Sept. 30, according to data from the Federal Elections Commission. Republicans have combined to raise more than $204 million, while Democrats have raised more than $59 million and other candidates got $16 million.
Trump's aggressive campaigning amid four ongoing court cases has put him slightly ahead of President Joe Biden, who has raised more than $56 million.
Trump had about $37 million in cash on hand at the close of the reporting period on Sept. 30. He received about $24 million, which includes funds raised, interest, offsets and dividends.
Californians have contributed the most to the Trump campaign, raising $6.1 million, followed by Texas with $4.9 million and Florida with $4.6 million.
Trump held a rally in California days after the second Republican primary debate was held in Simi Valley. During the rally, he said that, to stop "pillaging and theft," people who rob stores should be shot.
Miles Taylor, a former member of the Trump administration, said in 2020 that Trump had threatened to withhold federal assistance from California as it was being ravaged by wildfires. Also in 2020, Trump in front of a crowd at a rally considered not providing assistance to California because "they don't listen to us."
The Biden campaign had about $32 million in cash on hand and $12.7 million in disbursements in the third quarter. California and New York combined to raise more than $10 million for the president, followed by Washington and Massachusetts, where he raised $1.6 million each.
There are other candidates attempting to challenge Biden on the Democratic ticket, but the Democratic Party has largely unified behind Biden.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. initially launched his campaign as a Democrat but has since announced he will run as an independent. He has raised $15 million.
Marianne Williamson has raised $2.6 million in her bid to challenge Biden on the Democratic ticket.
Trump's closest competitor, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, has raised $31.6 million, including about $12 million in Florida. His campaign had $12.3 million in cash on hand to end the quarter and received about $11 million during the quarter.
DeSantis' campaign hit significant hurdles in the third quarter, leading to him cutting about a third of his staff in July.
His campaign receipts in the third quarter outpaced disbursements by about $87,000.
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy has closed ground with DeSantis on the campaign trail, raising more than $26 million. The campaign has received more $15.25 million in loans.
Ramaswamy contributed more than $10 million to his campaign in the quarter and more than $17 million throughout the fundraising cycle. His campaign closed the quarter with about $4.2 million in cash on hand.
Trump and DeSantis have not contributed to their own campaigns.
Fourth quarter reports are due Jan. 31.
Nikki Haley's campaign touted a strong third quarter, raising $11 million with $9.1 million in cash on hand. She has raised $18.7 million overall.
According to the FEC, Haley received $8.2 million in the third quarter and had $3.5 million in disbursements. It confirmed that her cash on hand was $11.5 million.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's campaign has raised $15.1 million, receiving $3.4 million in the third quarter. It has received $12.2 million in total loans and $2.9 million in individual contributions.
The largest contributors during this election cycle have been the Empower Parents PAC, the Koch brothers and Budget Suites founder Robert Bigelow.
Empower Parents, a political action committee that supports so-called "parental rights in education," had contributed $82.5 million to Never Back Down Inc., a PAC supporting DeSantis, as of May 31. PACs report campaign contributions on a semi-annual schedule and will next report on Jan. 15.
Charles and David Koch, who were commonly known as the Koch brothers before David's death in 2019, are associated with the vast wealth used to promote conservative causes through multiple PACs, including Americans for Prosperity Action. The brothers' funds were used to contribute $25 million to that PAC through their Stand Together Chamber of Commerce organization and another $25 million through Koch Industries Inc.
Americans for Prosperity Action raises funds to support multiple conservative candidates including candidates for the House and Senate.
Bigelow contributed $20 million to Never Back Down.
Fundraising's role in third primary debate
Campaign fundraising plays a big role in the campaign cycle as Republican candidates must meet criteria set by the Republican National Committee to appear on the debate stage.
The third primary debate will be held in Miami on Nov. 8. To appear, a candidate must have at least 70,000 unique donors and at least 200 in 20 different states or territories. The campaign must submit proof of meeting this threshold by 48 hours before the debate begins.
Candidates must also be polling at 4% or better in two national polls or in one national poll and a poll from an early-voting state.