Today’s news:

Crowley raises $700,000 for re-election

He will face newcomer Rose Robles Birtley, a Republican, for the 7th Congressional District seat in November.

Crowley, who had a starting balance of $183,614 as of Jan. 1, 1999, had $437,091 left in his campaign war chest through Aug. 23. He raised $678,983 and his campaign spent $425,506, the documents show.

Crowley once again had no opponent in the Democratic primary after his chief rival, City Councilman Walter McCaffrey (D-Woodside), was forced to drop out in August after questions arose about alleged fund-raising irregularities in his council campaigns.

In 1998 Queens Democratic County leader Tom Manton, for whom both McCaffrey and Crowley had worked, stunned Queens by deciding not to seek re-election to Congress and left Crowley a clear field with no major party opponents because the filing deadline had passed.

Although a majority of Crowley

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