- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2008

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton leads the fundraising race so far in Maryland, Virginia and the District as she and Sen. Barack Obama battle for delegates in next week’s so-called Potomac primaries.

Mrs. Clinton took in $11.5 million of the more than $34 million raised for all 2008 presidential candidates locally through Dec. 31, Federal Election Commission records show.

Mr. Obama, endorsed by D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, has raised $8.3 million, although the figures don’t reflect the $32 million in contributions nationwide that his campaign announced last week.

Among Republicans, Sen. John McCain raised $3 million, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney took in $2.2 million and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee collected about $250,000.

Candidates have found fertile fundraising territory in the Washington suburbs.

The town of McLean, which accounts for less than 1 percent of Virginia’s population, gave more than $1.8 million to presidential candidates, including at least $500,000 for Mrs. Clinton and nearly $300,000 for Mr. Obama.

Overall, donations from McLean account for about 15 percent of all donations statewide, according to an analysis of FEC records.

Maryland residents gave nearly $11 million, including nearly $1 million from Bethesda and $500,000 from Chevy Chase for Mrs. Clinton.

D.C. donations totaled $10.9 million and included hundreds of contributions from employees of several prominent law firms.

Employees of the Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP gave Mrs. Clinton more than $100,000, while employees at the Patton Boggs lobbying firm gave more than $50,000, according to FEC records of contributions from the District.

Mr. Obama received nearly $60,000 from employees at Williams & Connolly LLP and more than $13,000 each from the Akin Gump, Arnold & Porter and Hogan & Hartson law firms.

Kevin Griffis, Virginia spokesman for Mr. Obama, said most funds are coming from small donations. He said the campaign held two fundraisers Tuesday night for donors giving $35 each that raised several thousand dollars.

While Virginia and the District’s top elected leaders have backed Mr. Obama, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, both Democrats, have endorsed Mrs. Clinton.

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