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Tennessee: Former President Helps Ford Raise $300K in NYC

Election Updates

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Former President Bill Clinton helped Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D) raise more than $300,000 for his Senate campaign Monday night at an event in New York.

Clinton was the special guest for the fundraiser at the Core Club, located on E. 55th St., where guests paid $1,000 to $4,200 for admission.

That same night, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) and House Majority Leader Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) were just a couple of blocks away in Midtown helping raise that same amount for seven Republican House Members’ re-election bids.

Ford, who had raised almost $2 million for his bid through the end of September, is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the race to fill the Senate seat of retiring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R).

He showed $1.7 million in the bank at the end of the third quarter.
— Lauren W. Whittington

Cleland Supporting Two Key House Candidates

After playing a starring role in Sen. John Kerry’s (D-Mass.) 2004 presidential campaign, former Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) is maintaining a visible political presence in the Buckeye State — having recently endorsed two Democrats in the key White House battleground.

The former Senator is backing state Sen. Charlie Wilson, who is seeking to succeed Rep. Ted Strickland (D), and he also recently endorsed Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer, one of two Democrats challenging Rep. Bob Ney (R) in 2006.

Cleland, a Vietnam veteran and triple amputee, also backed attorney and Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett (D) in the closer-than-expected 2nd district special election contest last summer. Hackett, who narrowly lost to now-Rep. Jean Schmidt (R), is running for the Senate in 2006.
— L.W.W.

Farm Bureau Endorses Paul’s Democratic Foe

The Texas Farm Bureau, generally supportive of Republican candidates, has endorsed Democrat Shane Sklar in his effort to oust incumbent Rep. Ron Paul in the Lone Star State’s 14th district.

Paul, a Republican with intense Libertarian leanings, has a voting record on legislation that sets him apart from most House Republicans.

“The farm and ranch leaders of the County Farm Bureaus in Congressional District 14 have overwhelmingly recommended the endorsement of Shane Sklar,” Kenneth Dierschke, president of the bureau and the Texas Farm Bureau Friends of Agriculture Fund, said in a written statement.

According to the news release announcing the endorsement, Sklar “describes himself as a conservative Democrat and he is well known in the Texas beef cattle industry.”

Sklar has been serving as executive director of the Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas. Before that, he was an aide to Rep. Chet Edwards (D), who could face a tough race of his own next year, likely against Iraq war combat veteran and businessman Van Taylor (R).
— David M. Drucker

DeLay Opponent Hopes Fourth Time’s a Charm

Rep. Tom DeLay (R) can now add a GOP primary challenger to his list of battles, as attorney Michael Fjetland (R) has decided to see if the fourth time is the charm in his perennial effort to unseat the former House Majority Leader.

The Houston Chronicle reported Tuesday that Fjetland reversed a previous decision not to run again for the 22nd district seat following DeLay’s indictment on charges he violated Texas election law.

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