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Democratic Party Aims for Gilmore

Tim Craig

The Virginia Democratic Party is mocking former governor James S. Gilmore III's efforts to raise money for his U.S. Senate campaign, saying it shows even Republicans are turning away from him.

Levar Stoney, executive director of the Virginia Democratic Party, sent out a statement this morning noting that Gilmore (R), who so far raised about $750,000 for his campaign, has received contributions from only 394 individuals. Former governor Mark R. Warner, the likely Democratic nominee, reports receiving contributions from 8,700 individuals, Stoney said. Warner has has raised about $6.4million for his campaign.

Ana Gamonal, a Gilmore spokeswoman, accused Stoney of spreading misinformation about Gilmore's fundraising. Gamonal said 1,819 people have donated to Gilmore's campaign, although she notes it doesn't have to itemize contributions of less than $200.

But Democrats believe Gilmore's fundraising proves he is a weak candidate.

"What does this shallow support say about the latest desperate candidacy by Jim Gilmore -- a former state Attorney General, a failed Governor, and the (former) Chairman of the Republican National Committee?" Stoney asked. "It reveals a widespread recognition that Mr. Gilmore simply does not work or play well with others, including majority Republicans who made the right choice to reject Gilmore's dishonesty."

Stoney said that Gilmore is having a hard raising money because he used "Enron-style budget gimmicks" when he was governor between 1998 and 2002.

Stoney is referring to Warner's charge that he inherited a multi-billion dollar shortfall when he succeeded Gilmore. Gilmore denies that he left Warner a deficit, noting the state constitution requires that the budget be balanced.

Gamonal fired back at Stoney and Warner in an interview today.

"I am assuming there are a lot of $200 million men that have donated to him," Gamonal said, referring to Warner' estimated net worth. She accused Warner of raising large amounts of money through ActBlue, which she says is a favorite tool for liberal activists.

Gamonal also made fun of Warner's recent statements that he plans to be a "radical centrist" if he is elected to the Senate.

"Radical he definitely is. Centrist. We highly doubt it," Gamonal said. She added, "If people think he is going to be elected and that he is not going to vote along with folks like Ted Kennedy and Harry Reid, they've got something coming...What little policy we have been able to squeeze out of him is left and liberal. They are trying to create a candidate who does not exist. He is by no means a moderate."

By Tim Craig  |  April 22, 2008; 12:33 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2008/U.S. Senate , James Gilmore III , Tim Craig  
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