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Posted on Mon, Jul. 19, 2004

Clooney still draws A-list fund-raisers in competitive bid for House seat




Associated Press

Catherine Zeta-Jones and Warren Beatty are among the celebrities who opened their checkbooks in recent months for Kentucky Democrat Nick Clooney.

Clooney is competing with Republican Geoff Davis for the state's 4th District congressional seat being vacated by Democratic Rep. Ken Lucas.

Clooney, a former television anchor and newspaper columnist, is the father of movie star George Clooney and the brother of the late singer-actress Rosemary Clooney.

In addition to Zeta-Jones and Beatty, Clooney received contributions between April 29 and June 30 from entertainers Red Buttons and Nancy Sinatra, according to the candidate's latest fund-raising report filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Some Hollywood executives also pitched in to help the Clooney cause, but the Democratic candidate picked up far fewer checks from Hollywood's "A" list this time than during a reporting period that included donations made in March.

That month, George Clooney hosted a fund-raising bash for his father in Los Angeles, said B.J. Neidhardt, Nick Clooney's campaign manager.

Nick Clooney, of Augusta, reported having a little more than $600,000 cash on hand at the end of last month. He has raised about $825,000 to date.

Davis, of Hebron, is a manufacturing consultant who narrowly lost to Lucas in the last election.

He reported having about $720,000 cash on hand at the end of last month. His report shows he has raised nearly $1.5 million to date, including $150,000 he loaned to the campaign from his own finances.

Davis campaign manager Justin Brasell said a campaign event with Vice President Dick Cheney in June brought in about $160,000.

The Democratic and Republican House recruiting committees both contributed $5,000 each to the Clooney and Davis campaigns, a sign the race is a top priority for the national parties.

"I think we're at or near the top of everyone's list for the most competitive races in the country," Brasell said.

Davis also received financial help during the reporting period that just ended from Kentucky Republican Reps. Hal Rogers and Ron Lewis as well as Sen. Mitch McConnell and others in Congress.

Clooney got help from Lucas and several other Democratic lawmakers.

Lucas, a conservative Democrat, was elected to the 4th-District seat in 1998. The district snakes along the Ohio river and includes much of the northern Kentucky suburbs near Cincinnati.

ON THE NET

FEC: http://www.fec.gov/

Clooney campaign: http://www.clooneyforcongress.com/

Davis campaign: http://www.geoffdavis2004.com/


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