The Republican National Committee raised $8.5 million in October as it gears up for a challenge to President Barack Obama next year.

The RNC raised slightly more during the month than the Democratic National Committee, which collected $7.9 million. The RNC ended October with $13.5 million in the bank, while the DNC's cash on hand fell to $11.1 million.

RNC officials said the party's debt was $13.9 million. That's down from $24 million when RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) took over the committee. The DNC had debts of $9 million.

The DNC fundraising included $2 million for the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising account by the DNC and Obama's e-election campaign.