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Zulu_warrior
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Post Number: 2419
Registered: 10-2003
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Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2006 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Bouchard raises $800,000 in final two months of 2005

January 11, 2006

By KATHY BARKS HOFFMAN

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20060111/NEW S11/301110003

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Republican U.S. Senate candidate Michael Bouchard said Tuesday he raised nearly $800,000 in the final two months of 2005 even though he entered the race months after his GOP opponents.

The Oakland County sheriff decided in February against running because of health reasons, but got into the race in late October after being asked by Republicans inside and outside of Michigan to run.

Campaign finance reports for 2005 aren't officially due until Jan. 31, but Bouchard released his figures early and said he has $760,000 on hand.

Bouchard is competing against Republicans Jerry Zandstra, who has been on leave from his jobs as a Cutlerville minister and as program director of a Grand Rapids-area think tank since announcing his candidacy in May, and Keith Butler, a former Detroit City Council member who heads up the 21,000-member Word of Faith International Christian Center Church in Southfield. Butler got into the race in April.

All three men are fighting for the chance to take on Democratic incumbent Debbie Stabenow, who had raised more than $6.8 million before the latest campaign finance reporting period, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics and campaign finance reports.

Stabenow doesn't have final fourth-quarter campaign finance totals available yet, a spokesman said Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for Bouchard said that his donations exceeded the amount raised by any other GOP U.S. Senate challenger in one quarter in 2005 nationwide.

Butler had raised more than $1.4 million in the first three quarters of 2005. A request for comment was left Tuesday afternoon with David Doyle of the Butler campaign.

Zandstra had substantially trailed Butler in fundraising through 2005, but said Tuesday he raised around $235,000 from October through December, helped along by Internet donations at the end. He won't have final figures until closer to the filing date, he said.

"I'm absolutely thrilled," Zandstra said of what he has raised so far. He noted he has 60 people lined up to hold fundraisers for him and will be focusing his efforts for the next three months on raising money.

"Our total operating budget is about $8,000 or $9,000 a month, so we can operate a long time on a little bit of money compared to those guys," he said of Butler and Bouchard.

Bouchard, of Birmingham, said his donations exceeded his goal for the start of his campaign.

"The outpouring of support from across Michigan since I entered the U.S. Senate race has been overwhelming and gives me more and more confidence as well as the momentum I will need to be successful on Election Day," he said. "While we have a long way to go to make Debbie Stabenow a one-term senator, we're definitely on the right track to make that happen."

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