GOP May Be Strapped for Funds if Special Election Is Called

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Democratic operatives have pointed out that if House Republicans need to fund a special election, their campaign committee is short on cash and could have trouble.

The focus has been on GOP Rep. Rick Renzi of Arizona. Renzi has said he won't resign his seat but has given up his committee posts in the weeks since the FBI raided his family business amid an investigation into land-swap legislation he sponsored in 2005 that may have benefited a former business partner.

Democrats have stepped up their "culture of corruption" charges from the 2006 campaign, and now they're crowing that the Republican Party has a weak war chest if there is, indeed, an election in the next month or so. The National Republican Congressional Committee has $2.5 million on hand compared with the Democrats' $9.8 million.

"If there is a special election in Arizona, they're going to have a hard time," says Jennifer Crider, communications director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

In a statement Friday, Renzi said that "for several weeks, I have been the subject of leaked stories, conjecture, and false attacks about a land exchange. None of them bear any resemblance to the truth, including the rumor that I am planning on resigning."

--Silla Brush