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« Strong Quarter For Open Seat Republicans, Dem Incumbents | Blog Home Page | Gallup: Dems Take 6-Point Lead In Generic Ballot »

Biden, Pelosi Fundraise Today In Philly

By Kyle Trygstad

Vice President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are headlining a fundraising luncheon in Philadelphia today to benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Bryan Lentz, who's running for the Philly-area 7th district seat.

As pa2010.com first reported in June, this big-money fundraiser was formed by combining two events -- Biden for Lentz, Pelosi for the DCCC -- which were originally planned separately for the same day in the same city. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports 200 attendees are expected, paying $1,000 to enter and $5,000 to mingle with Biden and Pelosi.

The fundraiser will be a boon for Lentz, a state representative who continues to trail the fundraising pace of his Republican opponent, Pat Meehan, a former U.S. Attorney. Lentz raised $230,000 in the last two months -- $215,000 less than Meehan. As of July 1, Lentz has $786,000 left to spend, and Meehan has more than $1.1 million.

The split fundraiser will also help the DCCC keep its sizeable cash-on-hand advantage over its Republican counterpart, a key metric in what's expected to be a difficult year for Democratic House candidates. Through the end of May, the DCCC had more than $28 million to spend, compared with $12 million for the National Republican Congressional Committee. New reports for the committees are expected this week.

Both candidates are running to replace Democrat Joe Sestak, who's vacating the Philly seat he wrested from Republicans in 2006 to run for Senate. The race has had its highlights already, with Lentz showing up to a Meehan press conference at the state capitol in June to rebut the Republican's accusations that he was tied to the Bonusgate corruption scandal.

Meehan is an NRCC "Young Gun" and carries great expectations to win back the seat. Many political observers see this as one of the Democrats' more vulnerable seats, and RCP currently rates the race Leans Republican.

With Pelosi in town, Meehan began airing a 60-second radio ad last week tying Lentz to the speaker's liberal image, a tactic used by Republicans in many districts this year. "The Nancy Pelosi political circus is coming to town. Coming to our area to support Phila-liberal Bryan Lentz," the ad's announcer says, according to the Inquirer.

After a weekend at home in Wilmington, Delaware and the event in Philly, Biden -- who's been raising money for Democratic candidates across the country -- will later head further south to Baltimore for a fundraiser for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley before returning to Washington. O'Malley is running for re-election against former Gov. Bob Ehrlich, whom O'Malley defeated in 2006.