- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Sen. John Kerry, on a roll since becoming the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has outraised President Bush for the third straight month, the Kerry campaign announced yesterday.

The senator from Massachusetts raised at least $26 million last month and more than $100 million in the past three months, the campaign said.

“In just three months, 800,000 Americans have contributed over $100 million to John Kerry’s run for the White House, responding in record-breaking numbers to John Kerry’s positive vision to create jobs and grow the American economy,” said campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill.

The Kerry campaign would not disclose its cash on hand, its debt or its spending in May, but it doesn’t have to report those numbers to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) until Sunday.

However, campaign professionals said the announcement was timed to assure potential donors that Mr. Kerry has the ability to compete with Mr. Bush in campaign fund raising.

Overall, however, the Bush campaign has raised and spent more, has more cash on hand and is far less in debt than the Kerry campaign, figures from the April FEC reports for both campaigns show.

By the end of April, Mr. Bush had raised $204.3 million, spent $131.5 million had $109.5 million in cash on hand. The Bush campaign owed $185,000, compared with $7.6 million for the Kerry campaign.

The Kerry campaign had $28.7 million in cash on hand, out of a total of $114.2 million raised at the end of the month, according to its May filing with the FEC.

Mr. Kerry last year propped up a flagging campaign with a $6.4 million loan, using his Beacon Hill home in Boston as collateral.

His wife, heiress Teresa Heinz Kerry, cannot use her huge fortune to pay off the loan, under campaign finance laws.

Mr. Kerry could repay himself from the campaign contributions he receives before he accepts the nomination at next month’s Democratic National Convention, but that will drain his campaign of money it needs to counter Bush ads, campaign finance analysts said.

Still, Mr. Kerry’s May fund-raising total was more than double the $13 million his campaign estimated that the Bush-Cheney campaign had raised for the same month.

The Kerry campaign claims receipts of more than $140 million for the presidential primary cycle, breaking Mr. Bush’s 2000 record for a non-incumbent, according to the FEC report that the Kerry campaign said it will file on Sunday.

In its FEC report for the first quarter this year, the Kerry campaign said it had raised $55.5 million, $2 million more than Mr. Bush’s totals for the same quarter in 2000, which then had been a record. Mr. Kerry also broke the one-month fund-raising record in March by taking in $43.4 million.

Mr. Kerry beat Mr. Bush’s total by $15 million in April, raising $31 million versus Mr. Bush’s $16 million, and by more than $17 million in March, when Mr. Kerry raised $43.4 million.

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