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    2 parties nearly double the record for fundraising


    © St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000

    TALLAHASSEE -- Record-breaking contributions fed Florida's Republican and Democratic party coffers this year.

    In reports filed Monday and Tuesday with the state Division of Elections, Florida Democrats reported receiving $16.1-million during October, substantially more than the $12.8-million collected by the GOP.

    Altogether the Democrats collected $31.2-million by Thursday, the deadline for raising money before the general election. Total expenditures were $30.3-million.

    Republicans raised a total of $37.3-million and spent $33.1-million by Thursday.

    The totals for the two parties -- $68.5-million raised and $63.4-million spent -- substantially exceeded previous fundraising records set in 1998, when Gov. Jeb Bush was elected. That year Republicans spent $23.8-million and Democrats spent $10.9-million, for a total of $34.7-million.

    A detailed breakdown of contributions was not immediately available from the Division of Elections, but a review of earlier collections indicates that both parties collected millions of dollars from their respective national organizations and the interest groups who lobby the state Legislature.

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    From the Times state desk