WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democratic candidate Lyndon LaRouche filed papers with the Federal Election Commission Wednesday asking for federal matching funds for the presidential election.

The LaRouche campaign says it has raised more than $7,000 in contributions of $250 or less, beating the $5,000 requirement to receive matching funds. National spokeswoman Debra Hanania-Freeman expects the FEC to respond to the request within 24 hours.

``We are hopeful that along with the participation of Bill Bradley and Al Gore this will open up a broad spectrum of debate within the Democratic Party,'' Freeman said at a news conference.

LaRouche, who is in Germany recovering from double bypass surgery, has waged five other unsuccessful bids for the White House. With this latest try, Freeman said the campaign has raised more than $1 million and recruited some 7,000 volunteers thus far.

His campaign will focus on the ``advanced state of the global economic crisis,'' Freeman added.

During the Reagan administration, LaRouche was imprisoned for five years on charges of tax fraud and conspiracy.