- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 14, 2007

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney raised almost $7 million more than fellow candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani but had only $1 million more cash on hand to use in the Republican primary as of March 31, according to figures both men filed with the Federal Election Commission yesterday.

Mr. Giuliani’s figures — $16.6 million raised in the first quarter and $10.8 million cash on hand available for the primary — shows a lean campaign that is spending frugally, that raised $11.5 million in March alone, and that promised to keep up that pace for the future.

“You’ll see a March-like pace going forward for April and for the rest of the year,” campaign manager Mike DuHaime told reporters on a conference call after the campaign became the first of the major contenders to file its official first quarter numbers with the FEC.

Also reporting yesterday was Rep. Ron Paul, Texas Republican, who said he raised $639,989 and had $524,919 on hand as of March 31.

That should be sobering to some better-known Republican candidates such as former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson.

Mr. Thompson yesterday reported raising $391,628 and having only $139,723 cash on hand, and the other two former governors also are expected to post totals lower than Mr. Paul’s.

Jesse Benton, Mr. Paul’s spokesman, said their fundraising operation is still fairly fresh and they see a lot of room to do even better in the future.

“I don’t think that number reflects anywhere near what we’re capable of raising,” he said.

Final reports for the first quarter, which ran from Jan. 1 through March 31, are due to the FEC by midnight tomorrow. Most campaigns already had announced estimated total receipts, but the filings show a detailed breakdown of funding.

Mr. Romney won the Republican fundraising battle by reporting $23.4 million in receipts, all of it available for use in the primary.

Mr. Giuliani reported raising $16.6 million, with $15.5 million of it able to be used to win his party’s nomination and the rest available only for use in the general election.

“These latest numbers further strengthen Giuliani’s hand,” said Michael Toner, the past chairman of the FEC. “It’s very impressive to have a burn rate under 35 percent when you’re running a nationwide campaign. I think it further underscores the strength of Giuliani’s candidacy at this stage of the campaign.”

Mr. Giuliani leads in the national opinion polls of Republican primary voters, with Mr. Romney running in third or fourth place.

Mr. Romney has already paid for some television commercials to tout his candidacy, while Mr. Giuliani has paid for radio ads.

Sen. John McCain, who with Mr. Romney and Mr. Giuliani rounds out the top of the Republican field, said earlier this month he has raised $12.5 million and he is expected to report far less cash on hand.

Earlier this month New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson’s campaign said he would report $5 million cash on hand, out of about $6 million raised, and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd’s campaign said he would show raising $4 million but having $7.5 million cash on hand. No other major campaign announced their cash-on-hand totals.


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