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Prominent Dems Trying to Raise $10M for Kerry

Former President Clinton, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) and Democratic congressional leaders are trying to raise $10 million for presidential nominee-to-be John Kerry in 10 days.

The former president, taking up his longtime role as the Democrats' fund-raiser in chief, sent prospective donors an e-mail Tuesday urging them to help meet the online fund-raising goal. Kerry's campaign raised $10 mi tour by Kerry that he hopes will raise $15 million to $20 million by early May. Kerry's fund-raisers start March 29 with a two-day swing through California.

In addition to the Clintons, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (search) of South Dakota, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California (searchand several former Democratic presidential hopefuls plan to take part in the online fund-raising drive, the campaign said.

Kerry is trying to raise $80 million this year to counter record fund raising by President Bush, who has taken in more than $163 million so far for his re-election effort.

If Kerry meets his goal, he will have raised a Democratic record of roughly $105 million for his campaign from January 2003 to the party's nominating convention this summer. That's about the same as the then-record sum Bush raised for his 2000 campaign and has already surpassed.

The Kerry effort is just one part of Democrats' fund-raising push for this fall's elections.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (search), trying to regain a House majority, was holding a fund-raiser at a Washington steakhouse Tuesday that it hoped would raise $2 million and help reduce House Republicans' multimillion-dollar advantage.

Roughly 1,000 people were expected to attend the event, a tribute to former House Democratic leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri. Tickets cost $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for political action committees.

Those who raised or donated at least $25,000 were offered seats at a private dinner with Gephardt and House Democratic leaders after the main reception. Those who gave or solicited at least $25,000 were also recognized as dinner hosts, $50,000 donors or fund-raisers as co-chairs, and $100,000 givers or fund-raisers as event chairs.

The Democratic National Committee (search) plans a March 25 fund-raising gala at the National Building Museum in Washington that will also celebrate the opening of the party's renovated headquarters. Kerry and former Presidents Clinton and Carter are among those expected to headline the event.

Star Jones, a co-host of the TV talk show "The View," is scheduled to emcee a DNC get-out-the-vote event at the Dream Nightclub after the gala.