Thies: At-Large Candidates in D.C. Have Money to Spend

When the first campaign finance reports for the At-Large D.C. Council special election were filed in January, a newcomer -- Matthew Frumin -- separated himself from the pack with an impressive haul.

Thirty-nine days later, Patrick Mara is the winner of round two.

Mara, who represents Ward 1 on the Board of Education, raised $54,165 during the latest reporting period. His war chest has been filled with more than $75,000 to date.

Interim At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds, who previously raised an anemic $6,045, took second place in the latest money race with $46,612. In a press release, Bonds said that the money signals her “strong position to win this election.”

Frumin, who turned heads when he led the chase for dollars earlier in January, raked in $36,377 this time around. Frumin has pumped $20,000 of his own money into the race, too. The result is a campaign with an impressive valuation of $130,000.

Elissa Silverman, who has sworn off funds from corporate donors and PACs, netted $25,110. Silverman's grand total of more than $61,000 is notable as she blazes a trail for candidates who reject money from interest groups and businesses.

Former At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown recently took a fundraising trip to Los Angeles, where Magic Johnson had lent his name to an event. Brown’s campaign finance report bears no hint of money from Johnson, but he did put himself back in the game with $31,141. Brown has raised more than $40,000, but has also spent more than a quarter of his cash. If he is unable to replenish his coffers, that burn rate may haunt Brown in the closing weeks of the election.

Paul Zukerberg, who has been making news and is featured in a recent Washington Post editorial, brought in $9,018. Of the $20,000 total dollars in his campaign account, $5,000 is his own money. Zukerberg’s muscle, though, is not in his wallet. It is his personality. He is feisty, brainy and is striking a populist tone.

“When the lobbyists hear that in exchange for their contribution they can expect bupkis in return, they go elsewhere,” said Zukerberg in a press release.


Perry Redd, who campaigns under the slogan "Doing It Different... Getting It Right," raised $3,375. His campaign has brought in a total of $4,571. Like Silverman, Redd does not accept funds from corporations.

The special election for At-Large D.C. Council is a non-partisan contest. Election Day is April 23. Early voting begins on April 8. For more information, visit

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