This article originally provided by The Charleston Gazette

October 15, 2005

Byrd adds nearly $1 million to 2006 campaign chest

By Paul J. Nyden
Staff writer

Sen. Robert C. Byrd’s latest campaign reports show he raised $924,000 between July 1 and Sept. 30, including contributions from well-known West Virginia business leaders and Republicans.

Financial reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission on Friday afternoon show Byrd, D-W.Va., raised more than $2.6 million since Jan. 1.

The majority of donations in the last three months came from 12,331 individual donors, who gave an average of $64 each.

This concentration of individual contributions, as opposed to political action committee donations, is unusual in recent Senate races.

James “Buck” Harless, a Mingo County timber and coal operator, gave Byrd $4,200.

William and Patricia Bright of Summersville each gave Byrd $2,000. Bright owns companies including the Land Use Corp., Bright Coal Corp. and Bright Mining and Land Co.

In recent elections, Harless and Bright have been major donors and active fundraisers helping Republican candidates for governor and many state legislative offices.

Former Gov. Gaston Caperton, now president of the College Board in New York City which administers the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), gave Byrd $4,000.

Ellen S. Cappellanti, a lawyer with Jackson Kelly, and Ted Armbrecht Jr., a Republican who is a Charleston civic leader and environmental advocate, each gave Byrd $1,000.

Ned Rose, chairman of the Friends of Robert C. Byrd Committee, said, “Support for Sen. Byrd is coming from all corners of the state, from prominent members of both political parties and from people of all walks of life: business leaders, working families, teachers, miners, steelworkers, entrepreneurs, firefighters, police officers.”

In new FEC filings, Byrd’s campaign reports it spent $330,693 between July and September, leaving more than $2.3 million cash in hand.

During those three months, Byrd raised $790,091 from individuals and $133,995 from political action committees.

Individual contributions included $185,879 from 462 West Virginians and $604,212 from 11,869 people living in other states, according to the new FEC filings. Contributions from out-of-state individual donors averaged $50.91.

Earlier this month, Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., announced she would not run against Byrd.

The FEC reports available at that time showed Byrd raised $1.7 million during the first six months the year, while Capito raised less than $500,000.

During the most recent FEC report available then — for April, May and June — Byrd received $40,000 from Democratic-oriented political action committees, while Capito received $157,237 from Republican and conservative-oriented PACs.

Capito’s PAC donations included $10,000 from Americans for a Republican Majority, run by Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, who was recently indicted in Texas on money-laundering and conspiracy charges related to fund-raising activities.

Byrd recently received endorsements from the United Mine Workers of America and United Auto Workers of America.

To contact staff writer Paul J. Nyden, use e-mail or call 348-5164.

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