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The Lincoln Club of San Diego, a conservative political group, today offered its endorsements for the still young 2008 city campaigns.

The endorsements are as follows: Mayor Jerry Sanders; April Boling, District 7; Carl DeMaio, District 5; and Phil Thalheimer, District 1.

The early endorsements could help the candidates, all Republicans, ward off any potential challenges from within their own party with the campaign season just opening up.

Endorsements also matter financially.

The Lincoln Club donates to the local Republican Party. (For example, a month before the November 2005 mayoral election, it gave the party $20,000.) And the political parties have increasingly become more powerful donors in local elections, using their money to shore up the support of party loyalists and allowing candidates to spread their funds to other potential voters.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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