Roberson has fortune for re-election; Jones puts up big number

In a preview of the campaign donnybrooks to come, state Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson has put up unprecedented fundraising numbers, and state Sen. Justin Jones has served notice he is taking the fight for his seat -- and control of the upper house -- very seriously.

Here's what sources tell me:

►Roberson will report having raised $310,000 in 2013, a record-setting amount indicating he is taking both his primary (Carl Bunce) and potential general election (Teresa Lowry) challengers seriously. Roberson actually raised $200,000 since he was elected in 2010 and before last year, so he has put togerther half a million dollars. Roberson, who has raised $425,000 for PACs he has established, added $50,000 to that total last year.

You think he wants to be majority leader?

►Jones, I'm told, will report $236,000 in his bid for re-election just two years after he squeaked into office by 300 votes. That's an impressive number, probably significantly bigger than his Roberson-anointed foe, Becky Harris. Jones spent nearly $70,000 last year.

It will be impossible to tell from either Roberson's or Jones' disclosure forms filed later this week -- or those of any other statewide candidates -- how much cash on hand they have, a glaring flaw in the system that most incumbents have no desire to fix. But these numbers I have obtained show both sides of the equation are going to set fundraising recxords and that the Jones race will be a million-dollar contest once third-party money is counted.

Fasten your seat belts, with apologies to Bette, it's going to be a bumpy season.