Karl Snow and Bill Orton are back in town after successful money-hunting trips to Washington.

Both 3rd District congressional candidates beam about their meetings with national political action and party committees. Each says he received support, advice and promises of dollars."I went to do a number of things - check out the possibility of raising some PAC money, seeing what support the National Republican Committee would offer and meet with Republican Party leadership to discuss (committee) assignments," Republican candidate Snow said.While there, he met with Sens. Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch, who formally endorsed Snow's candidacy. Snow plans to ask both senators to appear in television ads for his campaign.

Orton also characterizes his Washington trip as "very worthwhile and very successful."

Orton managed to raise the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's interest in the race while in D.C.

"They all laughed at this district before, thinking a Democrat didn't have a chance here," said Steve Schone, Orton's campaign spokesman.

However, after meeting with Orton, the committee placed Utah's 3rd District race on its "target screen" - which alerts PAC contributors that the race is worth watching and contributing to.

"In every campaign cycle there are a few candidates who win races that some consider unwinnable," national Democratic political director Doug Sosnick said. "Utah's 3rd District could be the real surprise of the 1990 election."

Among the PACs contributing to Orton's campaign are the U.S. Steelworkers, the National Association of Realtors, AFL-CIO and the Communication Workers of America. Campaign workers say PAC donations range from $1,000 to $5,000.

"The support I'm getting is a broad-based support," Orton said.

Orton said the money he's seen so far is from labor groups or unions because "union (PACs) are the most organized and can operate the fastest."

"I've also met with business-related committees," Orton said. He is expecting support from those groups.

Snow contacted 50-plus organizations for campaign support while in the East.

"I would expect from the trip to Washington I could raise between $30,000 to $50,000 before the general election in November," he said.

Snow figures he'll need $100,000 to finance his election bid; of that amount, he expects 15 percent to 20 percent will come from PACs.

Among the groups contributing to Snow's campaign are Hercules, the Home Builders Association, several insurance trade associations and the National Association of Building Contractors.

Snow received $25,000 in PAC contributions before the primary in September.

"I don't think any other candidate did that," Snow said. "I think that is primarily because they saw me as the winner."