Guinn starts fund-raising campaign |

Guinn starts fund-raising campaign

Associated Press

CARSON CITY – Gov. Kenny Guinn is back on the campaign circuit, raising money to pay off past election debts, finance his current travels and maybe to put away some cash for his re-election campaign.

Guinn expects to collect $50,000 at a $500-a-person dinner April 19 at Harrah’s in Reno, according to Pete Ernaut, Guinn’s former chief of staff.

It will be the first fund-raising event this year in Nevada for Guinn, who hosted one in Washington, D.C., earlier in the year for political action committees of companies doing business in the state.

Harvey Whittemore, a lobbyist for the Nevada Resort Association and one of the organizers of this month’s fund-raiser, said it’s ”a political fact of life” that candidates must start early to collect money for their next race.

”The governor is interested in making sure he gets his message out in his run for re-election,” the Reno attorney said.

Guinn started early in his first campaign for governor, raising $6.1 million, but still ended in the red. In the last three months of 1999 he picked up more than $200,000 to retire part of that debt.

Guinn’s press secretary, Jack Finn, said the governor still owes about $60,000.

Ernaut also said the governor needs money to pay travel and other expenses associated with his office. He said Guinn was advised by past governors that $200,000 a year is needed to cover out-of-pocket expenses of the office.

”It takes a lot of money to run, but it takes a lot of money to serve, also,” Ernaut said, adding that the out-of-state travel budget for the governor’s office is only $15,000.