FLORIDA: Harris Starts Cycle With Cupboard Almost Bare

Posted January 26, 2005 at 5:19pm

As Rep. Katherine Harris (R) weighs a 2006 Senate bid, her latest fundraising report showed that she will essentially start from scratch when it comes to campaign cash if she does decide to challenge Sen. Bill Nelson (D) next year.

Harris, who filed her 2004 year-end fundraising report with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday, showed a balance of $48,000 in her campaign treasury on Dec. 31. Her campaign also listed $27,000 in debts and obligations.

Harris, who raised and spent $3.3 million to win her Sarasota-based 13th district seat in 2002, is expected to have little trouble raising money if she does decide to run statewide.

Although only a sophomore House Member, Harris has a unique national fundraising base because of the prominent role she played as Florida secretary of state during the protracted 2000 presidential election fight.

In the 2004 cycle she spent almost $3.4 million and won with 55 percent against an underfunded Democratic challenger — the same margin she garnered against the same opponent in 2002.

As of Sept. 30, 2004, Nelson had a little more than $2 million in reserve.

— Lauren W. Whittington

Wisconsin

Green Transfers $1.3M Into State Race Account

Rep. Mark Green (R) took his first official step toward running for governor Tuesday by filing campaign papers.

Green can now raise money for a 2006 gubernatorial bid, and he immediately transferred $1.3 million from his Congressional account into the new state account, The Associated Press reported.

His move, which a spokesman stressed was not an official declaration of his candidacy, comes just one day after Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker (R) unequivocally threw his hat in the ring.

Gov. Jim Doyle (D) is expected to seek a second term.

Assuming Green goes ahead with his gubernatorial bid, several Republicans and Democrats are expected to compete for his potentially competitive Green Bay-area seat.

State Rep. Terri McCormick (R), while not making any announcements out of deference to Green, has established a federal campaign account.

— Nicole Duran