Friday, February 17, 2006

Daily Ciro


WASHINGTON — Former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez said Thursday he's surprised by the support he has received from national Democratic groups and the $136,000 that has poured into his campaign over the Internet.

Rodriguez is challenging Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, in a rematch of the 2004 race in which the San Antonio congressman lost to a former friend.

Crandall schoolteacher Victor Morales also is running in the March 7 Democratic primary.

Rodriguez is narrowing a fundraising gap with Cuellar, who had nearly $292,000 in cash at the beginning of the year, compared to $43,000 Rodriguez held and less than $11,000 available to Morales.

Several Democratic groups endorsed Rodriguez after the conservative Club for Growth endorsed its first Democrat: Cuellar.

"It's a real opportunity to get a real Democrat back in the House," said Jim Dean, chairman of Democracy for America and the brother of Howard Dean, the Democratic National Committee chairman.

Dean said DFA has raised $37,000 for the Rodriguez campaign.