New Jersey state Sen. Joe Kyrillos has raised $1.75 million through March to kick off his U.S. Senate campaign against incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez.

The Republican announced his first quarterly fund-raising total ahead of the April 15 federal reporting deadline for congressional candidates.

Gov. Chris Christie hosted a $250 per person fund-raiser for Kyrillos last month.  The 51-year-old former state GOP chairman ended the quarter with $1.4 million cash on hand.

Federal election filings show Menendez had more than $8 million on hand at the end of the year. His campaign office says updated figures will be released Friday.

Neither candidate faces a serious primary challenge. A new poll shows Menendez with a 9-point lead. Kyrillos so far suffers most from a lack of name-recognition.

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