Democrats Claim Fundraising Record with More Money to Come

With a keynote speech by former President Clinton as a draw, Tennessee Democrats raised more than $600,000 Saturday to claim a state record for party fundraising that leaders said illustrates an end to intra-party discord.
That may be just the start toward financial success for the state party and Democratic efforts to regain control of the Legislature, party officials said.
The basic ticket to the dinner was $150, though prices were considerably higher – up to $5,000 for “the governor’s roundtable, which included front row seating, a reception with Clinton and Gore and having a picture made with the former president.
Forrester said “well north of $600,000” was collected, setting a record, and state party finances stand to be enhanced further by out-of-state help in the coming election year.
State Legislators elected in 2010 will reapportion congressional and state legislative districts, setting the stage for political races in the next decade. Republicans now control the state Senate, 19-14, and have a 50-49 majority in the House.
Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Kaine, who is governor of Virginia, met with Tennessee party leaders Friday and indicated the DNC, which normally focuses on congressional races, may provide financial aid in legislative races, Forrester said in an interview.
State House Democratic Chairman Mike Turner said other Democrat-oriented groups based outside the state have also shown interest in helping fund campaigns to control the Legislature this year. In the state House, he said the party is focusing on “about 12 opportunities” in seats now held by Republicans.

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