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Campaign war chests give Mooney, Hecht a chance to quibble

August 15, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Sen. Alex X. Mooney's campaign boasted Wednesday about having $336,445 to spend on his Senate race against Del. Sue Hecht.

But Hecht said voters should be outraged that Mooney has raised that much money for a job that pays $34,500 next year.

"Don't show me the money. Show me the results for the citizens of Frederick and Washington County," said Hecht, D-Frederick/Washington.

Hecht has $137,535 in her campaign fund, according to her finance report filed Tuesday. To date she has raised $234,780, more than half of which has come in since Nov. 2.

Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington, could not be reached for comment because he was out of town on his honeymoon.

His Campaign Manager Erin DeLullo released a statement Wednesday about Mooney's campaign finance report.

"The Democrat leadership has to be depressed. They wanted to defeat Senator Mooney, but they are not going to have the financial ability to do it, not when we are out-raising Sue Hecht nearly three-to-one," she said.

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In the past four years, Mooney's campaign has garnered $698,803, she said.

Hecht said she has a solid, grassroots organization behind her campaign. She said that unlike her opponent, she's built a record of bringing back money for local roads and schools and preserving the environment.

"If he thinks this race is all about raising money, he doesn't deserve to represent the citizens of District 3," she said.

DeLullo said the threat of the "Democrat attack machine" has forced Mooney to raise such a large amount. She said the state's dominant party is prepared to funnel up to $500,000 to Hecht.

The race may prove to be one of the most expensive state Senate races ever. With three months to go before the Nov. 5 general election, the candidates have raised enough money to spend $4 for every man, woman and child in the district.

The Defeat Mooney Committee, a group formed to work against the first-term senator, has raised another $4,105. The group has spent all but $894, campaign finance reports show.

Its chairman, Fred Michel of Frederick, has donated $4,000 to Hecht's campaign, Hecht's report shows.

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