ALBANY, N.Y. – Gov. George Pataki (search), even while shaking the money tree hard for President Bush and other Republicans, managed to raise more than $1.66 million for his own campaign committee in the past six months, he reported Thursday.
A Pataki report to be filed Thursday with the state Board of Elections (search) showed the governor's campaign committee had more than $2.5 million in the bank.
Pataki has not said if he will seek a fourth, four-year term in 2006. There has been speculation he might challenge the re-election bid that year of Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search).
Four years ago, as he was gearing up to seek a third term, Pataki had raised almost $2.35 million in the first six months of 2000. The successful 2002 re-election race eventually cost him more than $45 million.
Eight years ago, Pataki had also raised $1.66 million in the first six months of 1996 as he prepared to run for a second term in 1998.
There was no immediate word Thursday on how much state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, a potential Democratic candidate for governor in 2006, had raised in the first six months of this year. As of mid-January, Spitzer had almost $3.6 million on hand.
Sen. Charles Schumer, who is also considered a potential Democratic candidate for governor in two years, is running for re-election this year and has raised more than $25 million for that Senate race. Schumer has not set up a state race campaign committee.
Pataki spokeswoman Lisa Dewald Stoll expressed satisfaction with governor's latest fund-raising numbers.
"It's clear that the people of New York know and trust their governor and support him tremendously," the Pataki aide said.
Pataki has been busy in recent months crisscrossing the country as one of the national GOP chief fund-raisers. He has already raised about $9.5 million for President Bush's re-election effort.