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Chiles tops Martinez in latest fund-raising

Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Lawton Chiles raised more money than Republican Gov. Bob Martinez during the past three weeks despite Chiles' self-imposed $100 limit on contributions. The Chiles campaign has raised $1.15-million during the past three weeks, including $363,000 since Oct. 12, said campaign manager Jim Krog on Saturday. Martinez, meanwhile, filed a finance report Friday showing he had raised an even $1-million since Sept. 28.

The latest numbers mark the first time Chiles has raised more money than Martinez in a single reporting period. Voters will decide the race Nov. 6.

The report shows that Martinez still enjoys an overwhelming lead in total money raised, at $10.2-million. The governor has $1.5-million on hand to bankroll heavy television advertising during the next two weeks.

Chiles has received more than $4-million in total contributions, according to his finance report. The Democrat had $849,950 in the bank as of Oct. 12, but Krog said that doesn't include money raised during the past week.

The former U.S. senator will have enough to make the crucial television ad purchases needed to reach most voters during the next two weeks, Krog said.

Martinez is taking contributions up to the $3,000 legal limit. Supporters can give that amount before the primary, runoff and general elections for a total per-person cap of $9,000.

Chiles has limited his contributions to $100 in each of the three periods.

Krog said the campaign has received 58,770 contributions since Chiles entered the race April 12. Martinez has gotten about 17,000 contributions, campaign manager J.M. "Mac" Stipanovich said.