Secretary of State Chet Culver is hosting a campaign fundraiser on Saturday — amid speculation he’s raising money for a run against Republican Senator Charles Grassley in 2004. Culver, a democrat who’s dad John lost his Senate seat to Grassley in 1980, is downplaying things.Culver says it’s “nothing out of the ordinary” as he’s had a fall fundraiser in each of the past five years. He says the only extraordinary thing about the event is Ted Danson, the Hollywood star who will be Culver’s featured guest. Culver says Danson’s very involved in politics and will be appearing as a supporter of former NATO commander Wesley Clark. Culver says all the presidential candidates will be sending representatives to make their case before the Iowans who’ll be at the fundraiser. Culver expects a few hundred people to attend the $25-per-person fundraiser in Des Moines. Culver sidesteps questions about his future political aspirations. Culver says his number one focus is on the job of Secretary of State, although he cites his re-election stats. Culver won re-election last year by over 100-thousand votes and carried 69 of Iowa’s 99 counties. Grassley, the Republican Culver might run against, is Iowa’s most popular Republican and won re-election in 1998 with by an overwhelming 69 percent of the vote.
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