Gubernatorial candidates release fundraising reports

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(Host) The two national political parties have pumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into Vermont’s gubernatorial campaign. Finance reports filed Friday show that Democrat Doug Racine and Republican Jim Douglas have accumulated large amounts of cash in the last weeks of the campaign.

VPR’s John Dillon reports:

(Dillon) All politics may be local, but a lot of the money that fuels Vermont’s gubernatorial campaign has come from out of state.

Democratic Lieutenant Governor Doug Racine has spent $565,000 to date. He’s raised just over $671,000, almost half of that in the last month. The Democratic National Committee gave a substantial amount of cash over the last few weeks. The party contributed $202,000 in October.

Racine’s campaign manager, Tom Hughes, says Racine plans a last minute push of political advertising:

(Hughes) “Up until September 25 of this year, a month ago, Doug Racine had been outspent 5 to 1 by his opponents in this race. He’s running an incredibly fiscally conservative campaign. In the last month, as this report shows, our expenditures have gone up considerably. And we plan to have parity with Republicans in the last 10 days of the election.”

(Dillon) Hughes says the national Democrats are interested in this race and have given Racine the resources to win.

The Republican Party has also taken a keen interest in the Vermont governor’s contest. The national GOP pumped $300,000 into Jim Douglas’ campaign in the last month. Douglas campaign manager Neal Lunderville says the Party has made Vermont a priority:

(Lunderville) “It’s certainly a very winnable race for Republicans. The national party considers Vermont one of the places where they can pick up a Republican governor and that’s very important to them.”

(Dillon) So far Douglas has raised more and spent more than Racine.

The Douglas campaign has raised almost $864,000 to date, with $381,000 of that coming in the last month. Lunderville says the campaign benefited from a fundraiser last month with Vice President Dick Cheney, which brought in about $100,000.

In the 2000 campaign, the Republicans and Democrats each spent about a million dollars in the governor’s race. The latest finance reports show that this year’s campaign may be almost as expensive. Candidates will file another report after Election Day.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m John Dillon.

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