- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Virginia Lt. Gov. Timothy M. Kaine outraised his main gubernatorial opponent — former Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore — according to fund-raising figures released by the campaigns yesterday.

Mr. Kaine, who has no challengers for the Democratic nomination, raised more than $2.6 million from Jan. 1 through March 31. The total includes a $1.5 million donation from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

As of March 31, Mr. Kaine had raised $8.1 million and had $5 million cash on hand.

Mr. Kilgore, who is the front-runner for the June 14 Republican primary, raised $1.7 million during the quarter. Mr. Kilgore has raised $7.4 million to date and has $4 million cash on hand.

Robert D. Holsworth, director of the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University, said the candidates are on track to spend a total of up to $35 million, which would make this political contest the most expensive in Virginia history.

“The dollars battle is simply going to escalate,” he said. “It’s going to be a very expensive race.”

Fund-raising figures for state Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr., a Winchester Republican who is running as an independent, were not available yesterday.

Republican primary candidate George B. Fitch, the mayor of Warrenton, did not release his figures yesterday.

Virginia law forbids candidates from fund raising while the legislature is in session, which this year ran from Jan. 12 to Feb. 27.

Mr. Kilgore stepped down from his attorney general post on Feb. 1, so he had 27 more days than Mr. Kaine had to raise funds.

“We’re very pleased with the results of our fund-raising efforts, given that the moratorium left us with so little time to raise money,” said Mike Henry, Mr. Kaine’s campaign manager.

The Kilgore campaign countered that statement by noting the donation from the DNC, which has pledged an additional $3.5 million to the Kaine campaign.

Kilgore spokesman Tucker Martin called the donation “Howard Dean-infused money” and said, “Tim Kaine is well on his way to becoming governor of Vermont.”

Mr. Dean, a former Vermont governor and 2004 presidential candidate, is the chairman of the DNC.

Mr. Kilgore said earlier this year that he thinks the Republican National Committee will offer a matching donation to his campaign.

When the year-end fund-raising totals were released for 2004, the two candidates were almost even in donations. Mr. Kaine had raised more than $5.3 million, and Mr. Kilgore had almost $5.4 million.

In 2001, Gov. Mark Warner, a Democrat, beat former state Attorney General Mark L. Earley, a Republican.

Mr. Warner, a telecommunications mogul, spent almost $20 million — including $4.7 million of his own money — to win the governor’s race, shattering gubernatorial fund-raising records. Mr. Earley raised about $11.5 million.

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