Christine Stuart file photo
U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd (Christine Stuart file photo)

U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd announced Wednesday that he raised $900,000 for his re-election campaign, about $70,000 less than Republican frontrunner, former Congressman Rob Simmons.

Simmons raised $970,000 during the same period, which is an improvement over the last quarter in which he raised about $754,000.

Dodd’s third quarter fundraising numbers are far less than the $1.2 million he raised in the last quarter, but his campaign was quick to point out that he spent most of July ushering the health care bill through the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in Sen. Kennedy’s absence and spent most of August recovering from prostate surgery.

“Sen. Dodd is fighting hard on behalf of the people of Connecticut and he’s focused on delivering results and doing the job for which he was elected,” Dodd’s campaign manager Jay Howser said in a press release.

“The fact that President Obama would come to Connecticut to campaign on Sen. Dodd’s behalf speaks volumes about the trust and confidence he’s placed in him at this critical time,” Howser added.

Meanwhile Simmons’ campaign manager was pleased by the numbers.

“It is almost unheard of for a challenger to outraise an incumbent, but Rob Simmons has done that not by cutting a massive check to himself, but by gaining the support of literally thousands of supporters who believe in him and know he has the best chance to send Sen. Dodd into retirement,” Jim Barnett, Simmons’ campaign manager said.

In a conference call with Connecticut reporters Wednesday afternoon, Dodd was asked about what he thought about the $30 million Republican challenger Linda McMahon was willing to spend on the race.

“I’ve not spent that much in five races,” Dodd said. He said he’s not likely to raise that much money and doesn’t even know if he’ll come close.

McMahon has already spent $2.05 million on her bid for the Republican nomination and will still had about $1.45 million in the bank at the end of last month.

“Connecticut voters are losing trust in Washington because the economy is in shambles while the politicians are scrambling for every last special interest dollar,” Ed Patru, McMahon’s campaign manager said. “Linda McMahon’s support is growing because she understands how to create jobs and grow the economy, and she will not be bought.”

Greenwich businessman Tom Foley raised $780,000 during the third quarter and had $1.17 million cash in hand at the end of the reporting period.

State Sen. Sam Caligiuri has yet to announce his fundraising totals, but has said his campaign is more about the message than the money.