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Gubernatorial war chests bulking up

December 25, 2007|From the Associated Press

The major parties are raising record amounts of cash as they prepare for gubernatorial campaign showdowns in 11 states next year.

Republicans and Democrats both say 2007 was a lucrative start to the four-year fundraising cycle that helps determine which party controls the nation's governor's mansions.

The Democratic Governors Assn. raised $5.3 million through June, according to its midyear IRS filing, and is on track to break $9.3 million, the record for the first year of the cycle.

The Republican Governors Assn. raised $12 million through June and expects to easily top its previous record of $15 million. Final tallies won't be available until the end of next month.

Democratic governors have a 28-22 edge nationally, having gained a majority last year after 12 years of GOP dominance. This year, they lost a seat in Louisiana but took the governor's mansion in Kentucky.

Republican governors still have the financial edge -- they are quick to point out that's the opposite of what's happening in both parties' national congressional fundraising.

Both parties' governors associations are pulling in contributions from some of the same deep-pocketed companies, according to a review of IRS reports. Among those that have contributed $100,000 to both governors groups: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Service Employees International Union, AT&T Inc., Union Pacific Corp., American Electric Power Co. and Archer Daniels Midland Co.

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