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Sep 2, 2010 10:02 PM by Alison Haynes

Dardenne keeps fundraising lead in lt. gov's race

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - With one month before the election,
Republican Secretary of State Jay Dardenne maintains the
fundraising edge in the lieutenant governor's race, but a political
newcomer outpaced Dardenne in contributions in the latest reporting
period.
New Orleans lawyer Caroline Fayard, a Democrat, also is plunging
her own money into the race, to give her a significant warchest to
mount a campaign.
Dardenne reported Thursday having more than $747,000 in his
campaign account for the Oct. 2 election, a race that has generated
little attention so far. Fayard reported $445,500 on hand.
Fayard, who comes from a family of politically connected
lawyers, loaned herself $300,000, but she's also raised $201,000
since announcing her candidacy in July, while Dardenne raised
$137,000 in the last two months.
Three other candidates - St. Tammany Parish President Kevin
Davis, state Sen. Butch Gautreaux and country singer Sammy Kershaw
- showed less than $100,000 on hand between them.
The fundraising reports come as Gautreaux, a Democrat from
Morgan City, launched the first TV ad of the race this week. The
30-second spot has Gautreaux calling on oil giant BP PLC to spend
$50 million on a tourism marketing effort for Louisiana after the
massive Gulf oil spill.
"If they can spend millions on propaganda, they can pay to fix
the problem they created," Gautreaux says in the ad, which his
campaign says is running in areas impacted by the spill.
Dardenne's campaign spokesman said his first TV ad will begin
running after Labor Day. A spokeswoman for Fayard wouldn't say when
she would get into the ad race.
Besides being second-in-line to the governor, the lieutenant
governor oversees the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism
and manages parks, mu Fors, the state library and statewide tourism
efforts.
Fundraising documents for the lieutenant governor's race,
covering a period through Aug. 23, were due Thursday to the state
ethics administration office for any candidate who's been taking in
contributions.
Davis' report shows the Republican had $33,600 in his campaign
account at the end of the filing period. Kershaw, also a
Republican, had $24,400 on hand, and Gautreaux had $40,700.
Three remaining contenders, including state Republican Party
Chairman Roger Villere, hadn't yet filed campaign finance reports.
In a statement, Dardenne credited his lead to people "across
our state are responding to my message about growing our economy
and creating jobs through an aggressive plan to strengthen our
tourism industry and rebranding efforts."
But Dardenne also started the lieutenant governor's race in
February with an advantage: more than $256,000 in his campaign
coffers from his fundraising as secretary of state.
Gautreaux neared Dardenne in fundraising prowess for the most
recent reporting period, raising $112,400 after announcing his
candidacy when he officially qualified in July. Davis took in
$93,900, and Kershaw received $25,900 in contributions.
The runoff election will be Nov. 2. The election is being held
to replace Mitch Landrieu, who left the office to become mayor of
New Orleans.

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