Running for public office these days is not the faint of heart or those light in the wallet.
The latest example of how out-of-control political races have gotten is the contest for Montgomery County Commissioner.
Veteran political reporter Margaret Gibbons reported Tuesday that the two major parties have raised more than $1.5 million in the past four months.
The big money so far has been pouring into the coffers of Democrats Joe Hoeffel and Ruth Damsker, who reported raising $867,145 between June and mid-October.
Republicans Bruce Castor and Jim Matthews reported taking in $521,431 in the same time period, but Matthews is also raising money on his own. He took in $237,225.
Counting money raised earlier in the year, the Democrats have collected more than $1 million. That's four times what the Dems raised for the last county commissioners' race four years ago.
At least $30,000 in campaign money for the Hoeffel-Damsker campaign came from Gov. Ed Rendell, who wants to turn at least one Southeastern Pennsylvania county to the Dark Side (I meant to say Democrats) in preparation for next year's presidential elections.
With Berks and Delaware counties looking safe for the GOP, Rendell is targeting Chester, Bucks and Montgomery counties as a base of operation for the Hillary Clinton onslaught to come in 2008.
Tony Phyrillas is a columnist for The Mercury in Pottstown, Pa. He received a first place award for Best Opinion Column in 2007 by Suburban Newspapers of America. He was also honored for column writing in 2006 by the Society of Professional Journalists.
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