Smith’s Cash on Hand Eclipses Foe’s by 20-1

Posted October 11, 2007 at 10:56am

State Speaker Jeff Merkley (D) reported raising $294,000 since jumping into the Senate race approximately midway through the third quarter.

Sen. Gordon Smith (R), meanwhile, enjoyed another stellar quarter, raising $827,000 to enlarge his war chest to $4.04 million.

Merkley’s campaign said most of the $294,000 the Democrat raised — $240,000 — came in post-Labor Day. Merkley closed the third quarter with $215,000 in cash on hand.

Merkley campaign spokesman Russ Kelley said the Democratic candidate’s donors are “helping this campaign build the kind of strong grass-roots organization it’s going to take to defeat Gordon Smith and his special interest money machine.” According to Merkley’s campaign, 720 individual donors — including 583 Oregonians — contributed to the Democrat’s effort. Of the $294,000 he raised, $250,000 came from individual donors, with $60,444 originating from 458 online donors.

Smith spokesman R.C. Hammond said his boss is prepared for a tough race, whether his challenger is Merkley or long-shot Democratic primary candidate Steve Novick, an attorney and policy adviser to numerous Democratic campaigns in Oregon.

“Sen. Smith will be very prepared to face whoever emerges from the May primary,” Hammond said in a statement.

— David M. Drucker