Reid Raises $6.2 Million for Re-election Bid

Senator Harry Reid
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Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., has raised $6.2 million for his re-election bid, $1 million more than he collected during his entire 1998 campaign.

Reid, the Senate's assistant minority leader, announced his fund-raising total in filing his year-end financial disclosure statement with the Federal Election Commission. The total includes about $4.4 million from individual donors and the rest from political action committees.

The 2003 report shows Reid raised $1.1 million in the last three months of the year and now has $4.3 million cash on hand. The total collected compares with $5.1 million in contributions for his 1998 race - which he won with a razor-thin margin of 428 votes.

"It puts us right on track for the goal we laid out," Sean Sinclair, Reid's campaign manager, said Thursday.

The campaign, taking nothing for granted after the 1998 election, has set a $10 million fund-raising goal.

"You have a changing state, a lot of moving in and out of the state," said Sinclair. "It is going to be important that we're able to fund an aggressive grassroots campaign and go to everyone's door and talk to them about Sen. Reid's campaign."

Ted Jelen, a University of Nevada, Las Vegas political science professor, said Reid learned his lesson in 1998. "He's going to run full sprint from start to finish, even if the Republican candidate is Charles Manson," Jelen said.

Republican State Treasurer Brian Krolicki returned Wednesday from another trip to Washington, D.C., where he gauged support for a potential run. He's expected to announce his decision whether to run late next week.

Secretary of State Dean Heller and State Controller Kathy Augustine, both Republicans, also are weighing a bid.

Two other Republicans already have launched bids against Reid.

Richard Ziser, the former chairman of a group that led the successful effort to ban gay marriage in Nevada, has $121,000 cash on hand for the race and plans to invest $250,000 of his own money.

Ken Wegner, a disabled Gulf War combat veteran, plans to sell his land, personal watercraft and Harley-Davidson to pay for his campaign.