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The Daily Tar Heel

Dole, Bowles Lead Campaign Fund Raising

Republican Elizabeth Dole's spokeswoman says the $3 million she has raised shows support both for Dole and for her issues.

According to federal reports filed last week, Dole raised more than $3 million during the reporting period ending Dec. 31, 2001. During that same period, Bowles raised about $1.7 million.

Dole is a Salisbury native and former president of the American Red Cross. Bowles, a Charlotte investment banker, was White House chief of staff under President Clinton.

Other candidates have raised far less money. Among Democrats, N.C. Secretary of State Elaine Marshall has raised about $260,000, and N.C. Rep. Dan Blue, D-Wake, raised $200,000. Democratic candidate Cynthia Brown and Republican Jim Snyder have each raised about $10,000. No other candidates filed fund-raising reports, which are required only when a candidate has raised more than $5,000.

Dole campaign spokeswoman Janet Bradbury said Dole's fund-raising capability shows that a "tremendous" number of people stand behind her platform. "I think it demonstrates the support she has and the support for the issues she supports," he said.

Ferrel Guillory, director of UNC's Program on Southern Politics, Media and Public Life, also said Dole's fund-raising totals are an indication of the strength of her base.

"She's a national figure." he said. "She has a pretty wide wingspan when it comes to raising Republican dollars."

Guillory said Bowles has been able to "raise money out of the old Clinton network" but has also received money from Republicans. But he said that although fund raising is crucial to a campaign, it is still early in the race. "This is just the beginning."

Guillory said he was surprised that Blue has not raised more money. But Daniel Drum, spokesman for the Blue campaign, said the primaries will be decided by whose message most resonates with voters, not merely by dollars. Drum noted that Blue has the endorsement of the N. C. Association of Educators. "We don't need the resources other candidates need to win this race." Drum added that because of the longest N.C. General Assembly session in history, the figures Blue released last week reflect only two months of fund raising.

Marshall campaign manager Tim McKay also stressed that the message, not the money, is what matters most.

"The campaign is not about money," he said. "The only tally that counts at the end of the day is the one at the voting booths."

Marshall's campaign is "built a lot more on grassroots support than other campaigns are," McKay said, noting that Marshall was elected secretary of state in 1996 even though Republican opponent Richard Petty outspent her 4 to 1.

Although money isn't everything in a race, Guillory said, a candidate must raise enough to be truly competitive.

"It's tough to campaign in a state with 8 million people and 5 million voters when you don't have a lot of money," he said. "It's just a fact of political life."

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