Washington Prowler

Kerry’s Big Cash

He thinks he's worth something. Plus: In the ring with Boxer.

By 4.2.03

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CHUMP CHANGE
It's not surprising that Sen. John Kerry is leading the fundraising race in the early going of the Democratic presidential nomination race. It's established that he has built up one of the better fundraising machines in recent memory, although when the Bush team actually begins to pull in the dough, Kerry and all the other Dems will look like pikers.

Kerry has a little more than $8 million in the bank, about $3 million of which was carried over from his Senate re-election account. "He's done good job so far," says a Democratic National Committee staffer. "You see it especially out in California, in New York and even in Florida. He's pulling in the dough."

Sen. John Edwards followed Kerry with a little over $7 million. According to an Edwards campaign staffer, at least 25% of the money Edwards pulled in this quarter came from trial lawyers.

The big surprise however was how poorly Rep. Dick Gephardt did, raising about $4 million for the cycle, a figure lower than anyone expected given his long-standing fundraising machine. "He hasn't been out fundraising like everyone else," says a Gephardt staffer.

TREASURING MARIN
The White House and the Republican National Committee are recruiting U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin to run against Sen. Barbara Boxer in the 2004 Senate race in California. Currently, no high profile Republican candidate has involved himself in the race.

"She's the one we'd like to have," says an RNC staffer. "She's already got White House support, she's moderate, and has strong Hispanic roots in the state. She also has a great personal story to tell."

Marin is taking the opportunity seriously. She recently spoke to a group of California voters at a Washington gathering, and opened the speech up to the press. If she is going to run, though, her campaign staff will have to get one thing straight: her press people identify her as the highest ranking Hispanic in the Bush Administration. But Housing and Urban Development Secretary Mel Martinez might have something to say about that.

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