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Hillary Clinton files 'statement of candidacy' for Senate

By Phil Hirschkorn and Jane Caplan/CNN

October 8, 1999
Web posted at: 11:18 a.m. EDT (1518 GMT)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton has filed a "statement of candidacy" with the Federal Election Commission, freeing her to raise more money for a possible U.S. Senate race in New York. But the statement does not mean she is an officially declared candidate.

Mrs. Clinton signed the document October 3, right before she left on a European trip, according to Howard Wolfson, the spokesman for her Senate exploratory committee. The first lady is in Iceland through Sunday, following stops in Poland and Italy.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

The one-page document was received by the Secretary of the Senate on Thursday and forwarded to the Federal Election Commission, said FEC spokesman Ian Stirton.

"This is another step in the process," said Wolfson, who played down the significance of the technical move.

The first step came on July 6, when Clinton filed a "statement of organization," the legal term for forming her exploratory committee. That allowed her to raise and spend money as she tested the waters, Wolfson said.

Since then, Clinton has frequently traveled the state and raised up to $1,000 per contributor, the most a person can give toward a primary campaign.

The statement of candidacy will now free her to accept up to $2,000 per contributor ($1,000 for the primary and $1,000 for the general election funds), the maximum a person can give under federal law.

Although a candidate can collect $2,000 at one time, he or she must set aside the second $1,000 until the primary campaign is over, according to Stirton.

Neither Mrs. Clinton nor the likely Republican candidate, New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have publicly declared for the Senate race to replace retiring Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Giuliani filed papers forming his Senate exploratory committee, "Friends of Rudy Giuliani," on February 19, and then filed his statement of candidacy on April 12, according to Stirton.

"She is now as much or as little of a candidate as Giuliani has been since April," said Wolfson.

The contest could be one of the most expensive Senate races in U.S. history. Both Mrs. Clinton and Giuliani have each set fund-raising goals of $20 million.


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