The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

June 5, 2008

Tennant outraised opponents; Manchin owns 350-1 cash edge

CHARLESTON — A last-minute fundraising surge helped Natalie Tennant get her message out before her May primary win in the Democratic secretary of state’s race.

The latest campaign finance reports show Tennant raised more than $33,500 in the two weeks before winning her party’s nomination.

The post-primary filings also reveal that Gov. Joe Manchin has nearly $350 on hand for every dollar raised by his Republican opponent, as the two prepare their general election campaigns.

And Attorney General Darrell McGraw had $96,621 after sailing through his Democratic primary unopposed. He now faces Charleston lawyer Dan Greear, who sports a $9,405 balance after besting fellow Republican Hiram Lewis in their party’s contest.

A former broadcaster, Tennant started out with just $509 on hand but outraised fellow Democrats Joe DeLong and Billy Wayne Bailey during the filing period.

That allowed Tennant to spend more than $26,199 during those final two weeks. Nearly $21,000 went to television advertising.

DeLong had been the race’s money leader. The House majority leader from Hancock County amassed $298,000 overall, but less than $4,600 during the period. Bailey, the Senate’s majority whip, raised $48,800 including $8,200 during the filing period. The Wyoming County lawmaker spent slightly more than that, having loaned his campaign funds.

Tennant faces Republican Charles Minimah in November.

In the governor’s race, Manchin raised more than $90,000 in the two weeks before he cruised to renomination, and had more than $1.84 million on hand.

Of the $1.07 million he’s received since Jan. 1, at least $126,000 has come from lawyers, their immediate families and staffers. Another $50,000 reflects such gambling interests as racetrack executives and video lottery parlor owners. Other major sources of Manchin’s campaign cash include oil and natural gas interests, physicians and fellow public officials. Each group collectively gave between $40,000 and $45,000.

GOP nominee Russ Weeks has just under $5,300. The former Raleigh County state senator has raised nearly $11,000, including $3,400 during the filing period.

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