VOL. 125 | NO. 75 | Monday, April 19, 2010
Heavy Fundraising in Open US House Seats in Tenn.
ERIK SCHELZIG | Associated Press Writer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Candidates for three open congressional seats in Tennessee have reported heavy fundraising activity through the first quarter.
The retirements of Republican Zach Wamp of Chattanooga and Democratic Reps. Bart Gordon of Murfreesboro and John Tanner of Union City have led to spirited campaigns to succeed them in the U.S. House.
The highest totals among all those running for open seats have come from two candidates seeking to replace Tanner.
Democratic state Sen. Roy Herron of Dresden pushed his total to nearly $1.2 million – including a $251,000 contribution from himself soon after he joined the race in December.
The next highest total was reported by Republican Stephen Fincher, a farmer from outside Halls, who has raised more than $1 million.
Herron, the only Democrat in the race, reported he still had more than $1 million remaining, while Fincher said he had $828,724 on hand. The other Republicans in the race are physicians Ron Kirkland of Jackson and George Flinn of Memphis.
Kirkland's campaign has said he will report raising more than $607,000 since joining the race the first quarter, plus a $250,000 contribution from the candidate. Flinn gave his effort $100,000 and his total was $262,727. He had about $124,00 remaining.
Former state Republican Party Chairwoman Robin Smith has raised nearly $400,000 for her bid to succeed Wamp in the 3rd District in East Tennessee. Total receipts to date for Chattanooga attorney Chuck Fleishmann, also a Republican, are $724,612, including $544,000 in contributions from himself.
Smith had about $270,000 remaining, while Fleischmann had $626,242. Wamp is retiring from Congress to run for governor.
Republican state Sens. Diane Black of Gallatin and Jim Tracy of Shelbyville have been the most active fundraisers in the crowded field to replace retiring Gordon in the 6th District.
Tracy has announced his total now exceeds $530,000. Black reported she has raised more than $485,000 far, including $200,100 from herself.
Lou Ann Zelenik, a former Rutherford County Republican Party chairwoman, had raised more than $381,000 through the last quarter, including a self-contribution of nearly $300,000. Her most recent campaign finance information had not yet been posted on Friday morning.
A fourth Republican candidate, retired Army Reserve Maj. Gen. Dave Evans, has brought in more than $68,000, including about $33,000 from himself.
Two Iraq war veterans, Brett Carter and Ben Leming, announced their bids to run as Democrats just before the filing deadline. Neither has reported any fundraising activity so far.
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