HELENA – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Troy Downing has put another $250,000 into his campaign, upping his personal ante for the year to $350,000 – or about 70 percent of his total funds.

Downing, a businessman from Big Sky, reported this week that he’s raised a total of $492,000 for his campaign this year, through the end of September – including the $350,000 from his own pocket.

Downing is one of six Republicans competing for the party’s nomination to challenge U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., who’s running for a third consecutive term.

During the past three months, Downing reported that he received about $60,000 in campaign donations, on top of the $250,000 that he loaned the campaign himself. Most of his donors are from outside Montana.

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He also reported spending nearly $160,000 on the campaign in the past three months, leaving about $307,000 remaining in his campaign account.

Five other men are vying for the GOP U.S. Senate nomination in Montana: State Auditor Matt Rosendale, former state District Judge Russell Fagg of Billings, state Sen. Al Olszewski of Kalispell, Belgrade business owner Ron Murray and financial adviser James Dean of Havre.

Tester has raised nearly $8 million for his re-election campaign so far, and had $5.4 million in the bank as of Sept. 30.