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Republican candidate for governor Jeff Johnson raised $1 million in the last two months, leaving him with $866,161 in the bank as he starts the final six weeks before he will face off against Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton.

His fundraising includes about $400,000 from a state subsidy he received in exchange for agreeing to spend no more than $4.4 million on his campaign. Dayton, who agreed to spend no more than $3.7 million, will receive $534,000 through the program.

Johnson, a Hennepin County commissioner and former Minnesota House member, had $122,886 banked before the August primary and had raised $482,000 for his campaign before he bested two better-funded rivals and one who had raised less cash in that contest.

He and other Republicans said repeatedly that many donors had kept their cash in their pockets before the Republican primary but once Johnson was picked the money would flow.

"Our fundraising really took off after the primary—particularly after Labor Day—we are on track to meet our financial goals and our television ads will be up on the air very soon. We are on the road to victory," Johnson said.

He has raised $1.5 million for his campaign since joining the race last year.

Johnson said he expects he will release his first campaign ad within the next week.

Dayton, who largely self-funded his previous campaigns but is raising from others for his re-election, released his first television ad this week. He had nearly $850,000 cash in the bank in late July, according to his latest campaign spending report.

The DFL incumbent had raised about $1.7 million for his campaign in total by the third week in July.

Like Johnson, he is expected to release his fundraising numbers on Tuesday, a day before the state's campaign finance agency makes them public.

Photo: Jeff Johnson in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota on Monday/Source: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune