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Kerry gives money to support Democratic races

/ Source: The Associated Press

John Kerry is giving $250,000 to support Democrats in disputed elections in Washington state and Louisiana and forming a new fund that could help his future political ambitions.

Kerry is forming a political action committee that will allow him to donate to Democrats in local, congressional and governor’s races in the next two years, as well as support promote his agenda on the environment, health care, energy and Social Security.

Kerry spokesman David Wade said the Massachusetts senator has wired $200,000 to support another recount in the Washington governor’s race. Democrat Republican Dino Rossi was certified as the winner Tuesday, but Democrat Chris Gregoire was only 42 votes behind.

Kerry also wired $50,000 to Louisiana, where Democrats are running in two run-off races in contests where no candidate won a majority in last month’s election.

That money came from the $14 million left over from his campaign’s primary race fund. Kerry did not spend that money while running against other Democrats early in the year and wasn’t able to spend it in the general election against Bush.

That money cannot be transferred to the yet-unnamed leadership PAC. Wade said Kerry will raise money to fill the PAC’s coffers, but doesn’t have a target amount in mind.

The PAC will be based in Kerry’s hometown of Boston and headed by experienced Democratic strategist John Giesser. Giesser worked on Kerry’s 1996 Senate race and on presidential campaigns since 1984.