SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Former Gov. John Kitzhaber has an early fundraising lead over rival Democrat Bill Bradbury in the 2010 Oregon governor's race, according to state campaign finance reports.
The report also showed that as of Monday, Kitzhaber's total fundraising of $389,670 puts him slightly ahead of Republican contender Chris Dudley, the former Portland Trail Blazers player who is the GOP's top moneyraiser at this point.
Bradbury, the former Oregon secretary of state, reported bringing in $178,803 so far for his battle with Kitzhaber for the Democratic nomination. Kitzhaber and Bradbury both got into the governor's race in September.
Political analyst Jim Moore said Kitzhaber's early fundraising lead shows that the former two-term governor is viewed by some as the Democratic frontrunner.
"The early givers are favoring Kitzhaber," said Moore, who teaches political science at Pacific University in Forest Grove.
At the same time, Moore said it's early and that Bradbury could still end up gaining substantial support from unions and other Democratic-leaning groups in the coming months.
Kitzhaber, a former emergency room physician who's made health care reform a top issue, has gotten support from medical groups, such as a recent $25,000 donation from a political action committee representing physicians in the mid-Willamette Valley.
Bradbury's campaign has been emphasizing its grassroots support, getting contributions from more than 700 individuals to date, well above the number of individual contributions to Kitzhaber's campaign.
In the Republican race, Dudley's fundraising of $388,387 puts him ahead of businessman Allen Alley, who's collected $248,505 since announcing his candidacy in February.
Dudley, who announced his candidacy last week, jumped into the fundraising lead with the help of a $100,000 contribution from Daniel Fegan, Dudley's former sports agent from his NBA playing days.
Two other GOP contenders — former legislator John Lim and anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore — have not yet set up campaign fundraising committees.
(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press)