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Top Giuliani Fundraiser Departs

The top fundraiser for former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has left the campaign four days before the next deadline for reporting his presidential campaign's finances.

Anne Dunsmore, who joined Giuliani's team in May, departed abruptly and will be replaced by Jim Lee, a Texas co-chair of the campaign. Lee will serve as the CEO of the finance operation with day-to-day control, a campaign aide said.

Giuliani's Communications Director Katie Levinson confirmed the change, which was first reported by Politico and The New York Daily News. "Anne Dunsmore is no longer working on our campaign," Levinson said. "We thank Anne for her service and the departure is amicable."

But one top Giuliani fundraiser said his colleagues around the country -- most of whom are wealthy volunteers -- had chafed at Dunsmore's aggressive management style.

"There was a tremendous amount of blowback from the state voluntary leadership about her style," said the fundraiser, who requested anonymity to talk openly about the campaign's finances.

The fundraiser said he does not know whether Giuliani's campaign has met their fundraising target for the third quarter, which ends on Sunday. But he said Dunsmore's departure may be an indication that they did not.

"If they had blown through their targets, the style wouldn't have mattered," he said.

Dunsmore had been a top fundraiser for former California governor Pete Wilson, who coincidentally endorsed Giuliani Wednesday. When she joined Giuliani's campaign, she acknowledged the enormity of the task: "When you have $100 million situation hitting or missing by 10 percent is giant...it's a couple of states," she told the Fix's Chris Cillizza.

Dunsmore could not be reached for comment. The campaign released a statement from Dunsmore Wednesday: "I continue to believe Rudy Giuliani is the strongest candidate in the race and I strongly support him for President."

Giuliani's success in fundraising has been key to his early success in the presidential campaign. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has raised more, but has had to dip into his personal fortune to do it.
But the Republican candidates are entering the final three months before voting begins without a clear front runner. For any of them to break out before the Iowa caucuses will require millions of dollars in advertising.

--Michael D. Shear

By Washington Post editors  |  September 26, 2007; 5:38 PM ET
 
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