Clinton holds fundraising lead

Oct. 16, 2007 at 8:09 AM

NEW YORK, Oct. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is entering the U.S. presidential primary season as the Democratic party's front-runner and with more money than any rival.

Fundraising reports filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission show Clinton with $35 million in her campaign accounts, about $3 million more than her nearest rival, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

Clinton raised $22 million in the third-quarter to Obama's $19 million, while former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., raised $7 million, leaving him with $12 million overall for the primaries, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Clinton's fundraising efforts apparently weren't marred by her campaign's association with Norman Hsu, the Journal reported.

Clinton returned $800,000 raised by Hsu after the U.S. Justice Department, acting on a Journal story, began investigating Hsu for illegal fundraising. Clinton also instituted a new policy of criminal background checks for fundraisers when Hsu's background showed a felony fraud conviction, the Journal reported.

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