- The Washington Times - Friday, December 14, 2001

BALTIMORE (AP) Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend padded her already big lead in the gubernatorial fund-raising sweepstakes with a major fund-raiser at PSINet Stadium.
Two simultaneous events Wednesday night a $1,000 per person VIP reception and a general reception with tickets costing $500 each netted well over $900,000, said Alan Fleischmann, her chief of staff. The guests lined up at bars and buffet tables set up in the stadium's north lounge.
Mrs. Townsend is the current favorite to win the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in November, even though she refuses to discuss her political plans. She has said she will wait until the 2002 General Assembly session ends in April to make her announcement.
But there is no doubt in political circles that she will run, said U.S. Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Baltimore Democratic.
"Thank you for being a candidate, whether you're announced or unannounced," Mr. Cummings said.
Mrs. Townsend also spoke briefly, telling the crowd that she believes in the power of government to help solve problems in education, crime, the economy and health care.
Campaign finance reports filed in early November showed Mrs. Townsend already had raised about $4.4 million since the 1998 election and had $1.1 million in her campaign treasury.
Since those reports were filed, she had another fund-raiser at the Virginia home of her mother, Ethel Kennedy. That event and the one at PSINet Stadium should put her well on the way to setting a record for political fund raising in Maryland.

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