Mark Warner notches $2.5 million

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Mark Warner notches $2.5 million
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Former Gov. Mark Warner (D) of Old Town raised about $2.5 million in the first quarter for his Senate bid, campaign finance documents released last week reveal. Warner’s surging campaign ended the quarter with $4.4 million in the bank.

Funds for Warner’s campaign came from 5,024 individual donors. with about 3,900 from Virginia.  Warner is the lone Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate seat of Sen. John W. Warner (R), also of Alexandria, who is retiring next January after five terms.

Warner, a cell phone magnate, has not contributed any of his resources to his own campaign. “I hope to be able to minimize that,” Warner said. “I expect to raise much of the money. At the end of the day, I believe in this candidacy and I’ll invest as well. But I’m lucky to have a lot of friends around the state and around the country now who’ve said they’ll be financially supportive. But I’m not going to lose this over resources.”

He raised $2.7 million in the last quarter of 2007 and $1.1 million in the two-week period before that, after announcing his candidacy. The Warner 2008 campaign has spent almost $2 million.

Republicans competing for their party’s nomination include former Gov. Jim Gilmore, Del. Robert G. Marshall of Prince William and Springfield consultant Bob Berry. The GOP nomination will be decided at a convention in Richmond on May 31. By early February, front-runner Gilmore had raised only about $300,000, according to FEC documents.

Warner, a centrist Democrat, said he hopes to pull a lot of support from the GOP base.”I feel that I get a lot of people who come up to me and say, ‘gosh, you’re the first Democrat I’ve voted for in a long, long time,'” he said.  “In rural Virginia, particularly, we made it OK to be a Democrat.”

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