- The Washington Times - Friday, July 7, 2006

Maryland’s Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele raised more than $1.8 million for his U.S. Senate campaign in this year’s second quarter, according to an internal campaign memo.

The latest totals are “representative of the campaign’s growing momentum,” said Steele campaign manager Mike Leavitt.

The $1.8 million is Mr. Steele’s highest quarterly fundraising total since announcing his candidacy last fall.

Mr. Steele, a Republican, has raised more money per quarter since entering the race than the leading Democratic fundraiser, Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin.

In the final quarter of 2005, Mr. Steele raised $853,000 to Mr. Cardin’s $850,000. In the first quarter of 2006, Mr. Steele raised $1.3 million to Mr. Cardin’s nearly $1 million.

“Bush, Cheney and Rove are clearly making good on their promise to pump millions into Maryland for their favorite candidate,” said Cardin spokesman Oren Shur.

Vice President Dick Cheney headlined a fundraiser for Mr. Steele in April, and Sen. John McCain, the Arizona Republican with presidential ambitions in 2008, was the marquee name at a Steele event last month.

Mr. Shur said that Mr. Cardin, a 10-term congressman from Baltimore, has “the strong campaign organization that it will take to defeat Michael Steele in November.” However, Mr. Cardin trailed challenger Kweisi Mfume by six points in the latest poll by The Washington Post.

Mr. Mfume, the former president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, had $184,466 on hand at the end of the first quarter.


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