- The Washington Times - Friday, May 23, 2008

Virginia Democrat Mark Warner continues to far outpace his Republican rivals in raising campaign cash for his U.S. Senate bid.

Mr. Warner received $1.5 million during the pre-primary period of April 1 through May 21, campaign spokesman Kevin Hall said.

His total compares with more than $180,000raised by Republican James S. Gilmore III and nearly $26,700 by Republican Delegate Robert G. Marshall during a similar period, according to recent campaign-finance reports.

Mr. Warner has raised $7.8 million since declaring his candidacy in September, and has $5.2 million remaining to spend before the November election. Mr. Gilmore announced his candidacy in November and has raised a total of roughly $1 million, with $205,000 on hand.

He has loaned his campaign $50,000, but yesterday downplayed the move and said he is confident of his position heading into the state party convention next week, where he is expected to win the Senate nomination.

“I think that a fair reading of where we are is that we raised over a million dollars and we haven’t even been nominated yet,” Mr. Gilmore said. “I don’t know why any loan I’ve made would make any difference in this race.”

Mr. Gilmore preceded Mr. Warner as Virginia governor, and both are vying to succeed Sen. John W. Warner, a Republican who is retiring after five terms.

Mark Warner is a self-made multimillionaire who earned his fortune in the telecommunications industry and has a net worth of roughly $200 million.

The majority of his more than 4,000 individual contributors during the recent period were state residents, Mr. Hall said.

Mark Warner has proven he can bring people together to make real change, and Virginians are enthusiastically backing his candidacy because that´s what they want to see in Washington,” Mr. Hall said.

Mr. Gilmore, a lawyer, is also a former state attorney general and former Republican National Committee chairman.

Mr. Marshall, the General Assembly’s most outspoken abortion and gay-rights opponent who began his nomination fight with Mr. Gilmore on Jan. 7, spent more than $23,000 from April 1 through May 11. He also had nearly $23,000 on hand and has raised roughly $78,500 total.

“We’re very comfortable with what’s in Bob Marshall’s coffers at the present time,” Marshall spokesman Bill Kling said. “We have enough to do what we need to do.”

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