U.S. Sen Bob Casey has a pretty good head start on raising money for his re-election bid next year.

The Scranton Democrat raised more in the first quarter of this year than all but two of the previous 13 first quarters he has raised money to run for the Senate.

His first-quarter take this year: $2,718,935, which left him with $3,806,791 in cash on hand as of March 31, according to his latest campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission. (Go to the FEC website, then search for the Bob Casey for Senate Inc. committee and the Bob Casey for Pennsylvania committee.)

The only years he raised more in the first quarter were the years he won Senate elections, 2006 and 2012. Casey raised $4,538,803 in 2006 when he beat Republican Sen. Rick Santorum and $5,267,118 in 2012 when he defeated the late Tom Smith.

In the previous years immediately preceding an election, Casey raised only $88,255 in 2005 and $1,128,782 in 201.

Casey actually raised more in the first quarter than Republican Sen. Pat Toomey did in 2015, the year before he faced his tumultuous 2016 re-election campaign.

Toomey raised $2,086,274 in the first quarter of 2015, but he had $7,257,482 left when that quarter ended.

Clearly, the Lehigh Valley Republican does a lot better job raising money than Casey, who only gradually ramps up his fundraising in the years between elections.

More importantly, Casey sees trouble ahead. Republicans will come after him next the way Democrats went after Toomey last year. i’ll try to do a blog post on the Republican contenders soon.

— BORYS KRAWCZENIUK