One of the three Democrats who wants to face off against Republican Senator Chuck Grassley this fall raised slighly more campaign cash in the past three months than Grassley did.  

Roxanne Conlin, a Des Moines attorney, raised nearly $630,000 in the first quarter of this year.  That’s about $16,000 more than Grassley raised in the first three months of 2010, although Grassley has been raising money for years and has amassed over $5 million for his reelection effort.  That’s more than five times as much as Conlin has raised so far.

Conlin’s campaign staff points out she’s raised more money than the combined total raised by the four Democrats who challenged Grassley in 1986, 1992, 1998 and 2004.  “It’s not all about money. It is also about volunteers,” Conlin said at a recent campaign event in Winterset.  “We’ll never be able to match Charles Grassley dollar-for-dollar.  Let’s just give that up. We can match him, more than match him, person for person and we know how elections are won in Iowa.  Elections are won in Iowa by friends and neighbors contacting friends and neighbors.  We can win.”

Conlin has crossed a milestone that Grassley crosses every year. She’s visited each of Iowa’s 99 counties. Conlin crossed the 99-county threshhold Sunday with an event in Dubuque County.  Conlin said the people she’s met along the way are primarily concerned about the economy. 

“With unemployment affecting so many people — unemployment, under-employment, a family member unemployed —  I think things are really difficult for many, many Iowans and they want answers,” Conlin said after visiting her 87th Iowa county. “They want congress to stop dilly-dallying and get on with creating jobs.” 

Two other candidates are running for the Democratic Party’s 2010 U.S. Senate nomination.  In the first three months of the year Tom Fiegen of Clarence raised $11,274 for his campaign. Bob Krause of Des Moines, the other competitor, raised $1,934 in the first quarter.