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MANCHIN'S RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN WAR CHEST SURPASSES $2.2 MILLION


Publication: THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE
Published: Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Page: 2A
Byline: LAWRENCE MESSINA THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Supreme Court race, 1A


The two men running against Gov. Joe Manchin have some catching up to do on the fundraising front.


Manchin amassed more than $2.2 million for his re-election effort as of late March, his campaign's first filing of the election cycle shows.


Manchin faces Delegate Mel Kessler of Raleigh County in the May 13 Democratic primary. Kessler has raised $450 and loaned his campaign $10,000.


The primary winner will face former state Sen. Russ Weeks, also of Raleigh County. Weeks has raised $4,385, with the candidate contributing $1,000.


Manchin carried over $1.1 million from his 2004 campaign. Another $831,488 came from a series of 15 fundraisers dating back to April 2007.


That first event at the Charleston Marriott accounts for nearly $279,000 of that total. Another $95,750 came from a fundraiser that coincided with former President Bill Clinton's appearance at the Democrats' annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in October.


Manchin also benefited from events held late last year in New York and Washington, D.C. The latter attracted $1,000 contributions from political action committees for the NRA, biotech leader Amgen, drug maker Eli Lilly, the engineering company HNTB Corp., the health benefits company Wellpoint and Altria Group, formerly the Philip Morris Companies Inc. Members from the law firm Bernstein, Liebhard & Lifshitz and their spouses also gave at that event, as did Texas political legend Ben Barnes.


Former Gov. Gaston Caperton was among the contributors at the New York fundraiser, held by campaign consultant Global Strategy Group. Lloyd Jackson, a former state senator and one of Manchin's Democratic opponents in 2004, also ranks among the governor's $1,000 donors.


Fundraisers were also hosted by Steptoe & Johnson law firm and Sen. Evan Jenkins, D-Cabell, at his Huntington home.


Manchin's campaign spent $232,548 during the filing period. More than $103,000 has gone toward Global Strategy Group for surveys and focus groups. V Shift Inc. has been paid $17,598 for the campaign's Web site. The campaign's Kanawha City headquarters cost another $20,646. Overhead for the fundraisers totaled $42,793.


The governor's re-election effort reported an on-hand balance of $2 million as of March 28. The candidates will file one more report before the primary.

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