Last night was the primary before the primary in D.C. -- the deadline for candidates and political action committees to submit their latest reports of funds raised and spent. And it was another victory for D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray in his bid for mayor.
Gray raised almost $708,000 for the reporting period, while incumbent Adrian Fenty raised just $308,000. Fenty's overwhelming cash advantage over Gray had been his ace in the hole with the Sept. 14 primary approaching, but it seems Gray is making inroads even in that arena.
Fenty still has nearly $2 million in the bank, while Gray has just $690,000. But this is a far cry from Fenty's original cash advantage of nearly 10 to one. Gray has only spent about $600,000 on his campaign so far, while Fenty’s spending is in the millions -- including about $1 million to create and air television ads. Fenty spent another $800,000 on canvassing fees and staff salaries.
Gray's donors included developer Joseph Horning of Horning Brothers, longtime Democratic insider Vernon Jordan, and taxi drivers. Attorney Alan Morrison, who was fired from the D.C. v. Heller gun rights case by D.C. Attorney General Peter Nickles, gave $100 to the Gray cause; ousted city insurance commissioner Thomas Hampton also donated to Gray.
Fenty got $2,000 from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and a similar sum from the company’s chief operating officer. He also got some help from Laurene Powell Jobs, the education reform activist wife of Apple’s Steve Jobs.
Council Chair candidate Vincent Orange took to Twitter to announce "Like James Brown, 'I FEEL GOOD'" as he reported raising $58,000, leaving him with $64,000 on hand. Ward 6 Council hopeful Kelvin Robinson reported raising $102,000 -- but about a third of that was his own money.
Some of the more interesting rumblings were in the Ward 1 Council race, where former Ward 3 member Kathy Patterson chipped in $250 to Bryan Weaver, who is challenging Patterson’s former colleague Jim Graham. The mother of current Councilmember Michael A. Brown also gave Weaver $250.
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