Mourners praise Dems benefactor

Prolific Democratic fundraiser Frederick Baron was mourned Monday by hundreds of former benefactors and friends, including John Edwards and cyclist Lance Armstrong, in a service that at times sounded like a hushed political pep rally.

“Fred actually thought it was fun to spend hour after hour raising money on the phone,” said Iowa Gov. Chet Culver.

Baron raised millions for Democratic candidates and causes, using his wealth in 2005 to establish the Texas Democratic Trust.

Baron, also a successful trial lawyer, died Thursday following a battle with cancer that became a public fight in his final weeks. He was 61.

Baron was the national finance chairman for Edwards' presidential campaign, but became more widely known in August when he acknowledged sending money to the North Carolina senator's former mistress. Baron said Edwards had no involvement with the payments.