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Ohio cash queen joins team Hillary

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WASHINGTON - Ohio's biggest Democratic money maven from 2004 is throwing her financial support behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton - a huge score for the former first lady in a crucial presidential swing state.

Clinton has locked up the services of Lana Moresky - a fund-raising queen who raised more than $500,000 in Ohio for failed president wannabe John Kerry.

Clinton staffers insist Moresky is just helping with her 2006 Senate race - but insiders laughed that off and said the move is the surest sign yet that she's making a run for the White House in 2008.

"No way is this just for re-election," said an operative aligned with a potential Democratic rival for the White House. "She is laying the tracks."

Moresky, the former head of the Ohio National Organization for Women, told the Toledo Blade newspaper that her ability to bundle massive wads of cash through small donations caught the attention of Clinton officials readying for re-election - and a potential presidential run.

She told the newspaper that Camp Clinton asked her to "help out." Moresky did not return calls from The Post.

Ohio is considered one of the most important states in play for 2008, as it was in 2004.

Clinton officials say any talk of presidential planning on their part is preposterous.

"This campaign is for re-election in 2006. Period," campaign spokeswoman Ann Lewis told The Post.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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