Jeb Bush Raising Funds for Campaign
.c The Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - If money talks, and it does in politics, Florida's Democrats have a big challenge ahead of them in their hopes to defeat Republican Gov. Jeb Bush next year.

Bush's re-election campaign reported Wednesday raising more than $1.25 million during a three-month period ending Sept. 30 and more than $400,000 worth of inkind contributions - gifts of services or materials.

The Bush total was roughly twice as much as the combined total of the four Democratic hopefuls.

Candidates were required to have their fund-raising report into the state Division of Elections by the close of business Wednesday.

On the Democratic side, Tampa attorney Bill McBride announced his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination raised $512,000 during the same period.

McBride, 56, is one of four Democrats seeking the party nomination in hopes of defeating Bush in the November 2002 general election.

Former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno of Miami, House Minority Leader Lois Frankel of West Palm Beach and state Sen. Daryl Jones of Miami were well behind McBride.

Frankel reported $112,000, including in-kind contributions, while Reno reported $102,179 in cash and checks and Jones said he collected $90,000.

``I'm confident we will have sufficient resources to win the race for governor,'' said Reno, who is considered a huge favorite in the Democratic race. She was the last of the candidates to formally enter the race, filing Sept. 4.

Frankel didn't begin raising money until Sept. 1 and like the other candidates stopped after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.



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