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Strange leads fundraising efforts in Lt. Gov's race

By Bob Johnson
Associated Press Writer

MONTGOMERY — Birmingham attorney and lobbyist Luther Strange continued to show a strong ability to raise money in his race for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, according to campaign finance reports filed Tuesday with the Alabama secretary of state's office.

Strange reported receiving $465,425 in contributions since his last report was filed in January. All together more than $1.2 million has been contributed to Strange's campaign, more than any other candidate for lieutenant governor has received, including Public Service Commissioner George Wallace Jr., the son of former governors George and Lurleen Wallace.

"We're just overwhelmed and excited by the tremendous response we have received from individuals across the state from Huntsville to Mobile," said Elizabeth Perry, spokeswoman for Strange, concerning the campaign finance reports.

Tuesday reports

Wallace reported Tuesday receiving $143,752 and Madison County Commissioner Mo Brooks reported receiving $13,185 since his last report. Another candidate, Hilbun Adams of Birmingham, filed a report showing he had not received any contributions or spent any money.

Brooks, a former state legislator and district attorney, said fundraising is not an important part of his campaign strategy.

"I have always felt uncomfortable soliciting money from heavy hitters because of the concern that they would expect IOUs," Brooks said. "What I'm doing is giving speeches, doing radio talk shows, Internet communications. It's low budget campaigning that has fewer real or perceived political IOUs associated with it."

Both Brooks and a spokesman for Wallace criticized Strange for using his background as a lobbyist to help him raise money.

"In short, Luther Strange is a full-time Washington lobbyist for the rich and powerful and they seek to buy the lieutenant governor's office in this lieutenant governor's race," Brooks said.

"Luther Strange is a highly paid Washington lobbyist," said David Eagles, campaign manager for Wallace. "We feel confident. We feel like we have the resources to be more than competitive to the end of the race."

Strange's largest contribution was $25,000 from Gary Cooney of Birmingham. Strange received $11,000 from the re-election campaign of U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Birmingham.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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