Former President Bill Clinton is expected to raise $325,000 for his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, during his brief visit to Utah on Sunday.
Fund-raising events at a private home in Park City and at the University of Utah featuring the candidate's "super surrogate" are both sold out. They were organized after Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., canceled an October event planned for Utah, reportedly because of a scheduling conflict.
Most of the money Bill Clinton is collecting from Utahns will come from the Park City fund-raiser, which requires a minimum donation of $500 to attend. Participants giving the maximum allowable donation $2,300 are also invited to a special reception with the former president.
But some 1,500 Utahns will hear from Bill Clinton for much less money at a special "low-dollar" fund-raiser being held in the U.'s student union ballroom after the Park City event. Tickets, which went on sale at the beginning of the week, were $50, or $30 for standing-room only.
These are the first Utah fund-raising events for Hillary Clinton. Although national polls identify her as the likely Democratic nominee in the 2008 race for the White House, she is trailing in Utah.
More than a half-dozen prominent Utah Democrats, including Salt Lake County Council members Joe Hatch, Randy Horiuchi and Jenny Wilson, are scheduled to hold a news conference today announcing their support for Hillary Clinton.
A recent Deseret Morning News poll found that Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina had more support among likely Democratic voters in Utah's Feb. 5 presidential primary.
Obama and Edwards have already made stops in Utah to raise campaign cash. And Obama attracted hundreds of Utahns to a hastily organized free rally last August held near Park City.
Through the last federal campaign reporting period, which ended Sept. 30, Obama had taken in $227,500 from Utahns, the most money of any Democrat. Hillary Clinton was next, with just over $103,000, followed by Edwards with more than $94,000.
While those three are considered the top-tier Democratic candidates, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut have also come to Utah to collect donations.
But in Republican-dominated Utah, it's a GOP presidential candidate who's raked in the most money from the state's residents Mitt Romney, who ran the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City before serving a term as Massachusetts governor.Romney has collected some $5 million from Utahns, including nearly $1.2 million in the past three months alone. A significant chunk of that money came from a "Rally for Romney" at the Salt Palace Convention Center aimed at attracting smaller donations.