FEC: Newt Got Most Loot

The Republican and Democratic leaders of the House are the top fund-raisers so far for the 1998 elections, according to the Federal Election Commission.

The FEC reported Monday that Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., took in $3.8 million between Jan. 1, 1997, and March 31, 1998, while House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt, D-Mo., took in $3.1 million during the same 15-month period.

Following them were Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., and former Rep. Bob Dornan, R-Calif., each with $1.8 million. Dornan, who is running to get back the seat he lost to Sanchez in a hotly contested 1996 race, has raised more money than any other challenger for a House seat. But he faces a primary for the GOP nomination.

The House member with the most cash on hand as of March 31 was Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., with $3 million. Second was Gephardt, with $1.9 million.

On the Senate side, Sen. Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., had the most money on hand as of March 31 $10.6 million. One of three Democrats vying for the nomination to challenge him, Rep. Charles Schumer, had $8.2 million to spend.

Overall, Senate and House candidates reported taking in $338.2 million during the 15-month period. That's $41 million, or 14 percent, more than they raised during the equivalent period in 1995-96.

1998, CBS Worldwide Inc., All Rights Reserved