Bill Russell may be giving Okinawa Jack a *race*, here. [UPDATED]

{UPDATE}: Got off the phone with the Russell campaign. They’re reporting that they currently have $270K cash-on-hand, with their expenditures being involved with ballot access (the campaign got the nomination via a write-in ballot), advertising, and direct mail. They also estimate to having had collected enough this month so far to raise their totals above 1 million. Promising news, but by all means: donate.

I can’t say for certain: Open Secrets won’t be releasing Bill Russell’s 2Q numbers until next week, apparently. But we do have Murtha’s, and he’s reported taking in $1.64 million this cycle, spending $1.34 million this cycle, and having .644 million cash on hand. This is important to note, because his write-in challenger Bill Russell (currently on active duty in Iraq) apparently ate Murtha’s lunch last quarter:

JOHNSTOWN [07.17.08]: The campaign of Johnstown resident and Republican nominee for Congress Lt. Colonel Bill Russell outpaced incumbent Congressman John Murtha in the second fundraising quarter of 2008. According to campaign manager, Peg Luksik, William Russell for Congress reported raising $637,137 to Murtha’s $113,155 to the Federal Elections Commission (FEC). The combined totals from the first and second quarters of 2008 exceed $900,000.

(Via Instapundit and Let Freedom Ring )

Mind you, Russell’s campaign has 100 grand of debt from the first quarter to cover; while they certainly can take care that this quarter, absent cash on hand numbers I can’t say that Lt. Col. Russell is at parity with Murtha. But if he isn’t, he’s probably very close – and another good quarter won’t hurt at all, at all. You can donate to the Russell campaign here, by the way. Just in case you were, I don’t know, tired of seeing Jack Murtha running away from confrontations over his attack of the Haditha Marines:

Which – vicious amusement aside – is probably something that we all should be tired of. As well as being tired of Okinawa Jack.

Moe Lane