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Breakfast in Kleinhans is Clinton fundraiser

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will hold her first presidential fundraising event in Western New York on June 18 at a breakfast in Kleinhans Music Hall.

Hosted by Mayor Byron W. Brown, Rep. Brian M. Higgins and Erie County Democratic Chairman Leonard R. Lenihan, the event will follow by just four weeks a similar event for Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani, the former mayor of New York. That was held in the same Kleinhans venue and raised almost $450,000 for the Giuliani campaign.

"Obviously there's a desire to help Hillary locally for president and show our support," Lenihan said. "We think it will be successful."

Tickets for the event start at $500 and rise to the $4,600 limit for the combined primary and general elections. High-end donors as well as those who raise money for the event will be invited to a "VIP reception."

Lenihan would set no dollar target for the fundraiser, but it is not expected to draw the kind of money that the Giuliani event raised in May. Still, the chairman said he does not believe it will be Clinton's only local fundraising event of the campaign.

"We're hoping to have another event with her or the president," he said, referring to the candidate's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Clinton leads the fundraising parade with $26 million reported to the Federal Election Commission but is trailed closely by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.

e-mail: rmccarthy@buffnews.com

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