- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean has raised more money than any other Democratic candidate in history, topping once again the current Democratic field in fund raising for the final quarter of the year, according to early figures released by several campaigns.

As of 5 p.m. yesterday, Mr. Dean had raised more than $15 million in the past three months, according to the campaign’s Web site. More than 140,000 Americans contributed an average of $100 to the insurgent campaign. Yesterday alone, Mr. Dean raised more than $414,000 over the Internet.

“The most incredible thing is how we’ve done this,” campaign manager Joe Trippi said in a letter to supporters posted on the site, in which he lauded what he called “the $100 revolution.”

The campaign had achieved its numbers “through everybody taking action and doing their part through hundreds of thousands of contributions averaging nearly $100,” he said.

Coming in second place appears to be Wesley Clark of Arkansas, whose campaign estimates between $10 million and $12 million in receipts for the final quarter.

Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts raised $2.5 million for the quarter — one sixth of the amount Mr. Dean raised — according to an e-mail sent out by the campaign yesterday evening. In addition, Mr. Kerry — who was once the front-runner for the nomination — mortgaged part of his house in order to lend his campaign $6.5 million.

With 48 hours left in the quarter, Peter Maroney, Mr. Kerry’s national finance director, sent a final plea to supporters for help.

“My biggest concern is how the national media will compare all of the candidates’ totals for the year and we HAVE to make a strong showing to continue our momentum in Iowa and New Hampshire,” he wrote in an e-mail. “If you have held back donating, now is the time.”

The other Democratic candidates declined to estimate their cash hauls for the fourth quarter.

“We had a healthy quarter,” said Jano Cabrera, spokesman for Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut. He declined to specify, saying checks were still arriving.

Roger Salazar, spokesman for Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, also declined to speculate on how much the campaign had raised.

“We had a very solid fund-raising effort this quarter,” Mr. Salazar said. The campaign enjoyed “a nice uptick in our numbers” in mid-November after a series of major TV interviews and newspaper profiles, he said.

Though he wouldn’t provide preliminary numbers, Mr. Salazar said Mr. Edwards was on schedule to raise $20 million by the Iowa caucus Jan. 19. That will not include $3.5 million expected in matching funds from the federal government, he said.

Erik Smith, spokesman for Rep. Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, declined to estimate their proceeds for the fourth quarter. The Associated Press, however, reported that Mr. Gephardt had raised $3.8 million.

For the year, Mr. Dean is well ahead of any rivals for the Democratic nomination, with more than $40 million under his belt for the year. Heading into the fourth quarter, Mr. Dean was followed by Mr. Kerry with $17 million and Mr. Edwards with $14 million, according to Federal Election Commission figures. Mr. Lieberman and Mr. Gephardt each had raised more than $11 million.

Mr. Clark joined the race in September and the retired general had raised only $3.4 million before the third quarter ended. But even Mr. Dean’s impressive take is dwarfed by that of President Bush.

Mr. Bush’s re-election campaign has not released its fourth-quarter results, but had posted $84 million in contributions after the third quarter.

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