Becker Leads Buhler in Fundraising

Becker Leads Buhler in Fundraising

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Democratic mayoral candidate Ralph Becker has raised $125,000 more than his Republican opponent with fewer than two weeks to go before the election.

Becker has raised more than $590,000 compared with Dave Buhler's $465,000 in the race to become the mayor of Utah's largest city.

Becker has $78,000 left to spend on the election, according to financial disclosures filed Friday. Buhler has less than $58,000 left.

Since the last reporting deadline of Aug. 30, Becker raised $267,904. Buhler took in $144,321 during that time.

Buhler, a Republican in a city dominated by Democrats, has cast himself as the underdog from the start of the campaign and beat out Jenny Wilson and other hopefuls in the September primary for a spot on the Nov. 6 ballot.

"I'm the underdog in this race, so it's always a little more challenging to raise money," Buhler said. "I feel very gratified for the support I've received, and we're still raising money, of course."

After the primary, Buhler had 28 percent to Becker's 39 percent. Wilson captured 23 percent, followed by Keith Christensen's 8 percent.

Both Wilson and Christensen have endorsed Becker, a Democrat and the Legislature's House Minority Leader.

Buhler began running TV adds two weeks ago and said those spots will continue through Election Day.

Buhler also recently bought 1,000 more lawn signs and said his grass-roots push is pressing on.

Becker's campaign also has taken to television. The TV effort will continue through Election Day.

But he says mass media aren't the heart of his bid

"The grass-roots campaign is the central focus," he said. "We have been walking door to door expansively."

Neither candidate is buying radio time.

Notable among mayoral campaign contributors is oil magnate Earl Holding gave the candidates $5,000 apiece. Telecommunications giant Comcast donated $2,000 to Becker and $1,000 to Buhler.

Auto dealers Larry H. Miller and Mark Miller gave Buhler $2,500 and $500, respectively.

"Every part of the campaign has been rolling along wonderfully since the primary," Becker said. "We've had great overall support, and our fundraising has allowed us to do what we've wanted to do."

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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