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Jumping On the Obama Bandwagon 

The contest for the Democratic presidential nomination won't be over until after the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4 - if then - but

The contest for the Democratic presidential nomination won't be over until after the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4 - if then - but Barack Obama already has blown Hillary Clinton out of the water when it comes to raising money from Bend contributors.

The latest figures from fundrace.huffingtonpost.com show the Illinois senator has raked in $11,565 from supporters in the 97701 and 97702 Zip codes, most of it in the last quarter of 2007 and the first quarter of this year. Clinton's contributions are barely a blip in comparison, totaling just $2,069.

All of the big-money Obama contributors (those giving $1,000 or more) come from the 97702 Zip code, which, contrary to the Westside's rep of being the "progressive" part of town, appears to be where the Democrats are - or at least the ones with money.

The top Obama contributor by far is Ally Finley, identified as a programmer with Surveymonkey.com, a Portland-based company that creates software for doing on-line surveys. Finley has kicked in $4,600.

Other four-figure Obama donors include Robert Smith, president of TCI Manufacturing LLC, and Paul Van Camp, a physician, at $1,000 each, and Robert Cohen, retired, with $1,060. Clinton had no contributors giving $1,000 or more.

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the mountains, the two principal candidates for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination have come out for Obama.

Portland activist Steve Novick announced his support Monday morning, saying: "I am voting for Barack Obama because I believe that he has the self-confidence to base his Presidency on hope, rather than fear."

House Speaker Jeff Merkley - generally considered the Democratic "establishment" candidate - followed suit a few hours later, declaring: "Barack Obama and I share something more in common than simply our determination to change America for the better ... Both of us come from the grassroots, where real change is sewn [sic]."

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