updated 3/3/2004 9:15:35 PM ET 2004-03-04T02:15:35

Fund-raising by House and Senate candidates reached record levels last year, with $390.1 million collected, according to a Federal Election Commission analysis released Wednesday.

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The record amount was due in part to the campaign finance law that doubled the individual contribution limit to $2,000 and left political action committee donation limits at $5,000 a candidate per election. The law went into effect shortly after the November 2002 elections.

By comparison, candidates raised $294.9 million in 2001, and $318.4 million in 1999, the previous off-year fund-raising record.

Congressional hopefuls raised $237.6 million from individual donors last year, up about 40 percent from 2001, the FEC said. They raised $101.5 million from political action committees, up 11 percent from 2001.

House candidates raised $223.4 million last year, while Senate candidates took in $166.7 million.

The top 2003 Senate fund-raisers were: Illinois Democrat and businessman Marson Blair Hull, $11.7 million, mostly his own money; Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y, $8 million; Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., $6.6 million; Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., $5.9 million; Rep. Richard Burr, R-N.C., $5.8 million; Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., $5.7 million.

The leaders among House candidates: House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., $2 million; Rep. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., $2 million; Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., $1.7 million; Rep. Tom Lantos, D-Calif., $1.6 million; Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., $1.5 million; Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska, $1.4 million.

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