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Posted at 10:26 AM ET, 10/11/2012

David Grosso holds huge cash advantage over Michael Brown, Vincent Orange in council race

In the campaign for two at-large seats on the D.C. Council, independent David Grosso has a massive cash advantage over six other candidates, including both incumbents, in the final sprint to the Nov. 6 election.

According to campaign finance reports filed Wednesday night, Grosso has raised about $42,000 since Aug.1, and had $67,000 in the bank.

Grosso’s haul dwarfs the fundraising totals of D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown (I), whose campaign spending is still hampered by allegations that $113,950 was stolen from his account over the past year.

Brown, who was left with only $18,000 in the bank in August after he accounted for the missing money, raised $30,646 over the past two months but spent $32,531. Brown, who is seeking a second-term, reported just $16,000 remaining in the bank.

Grosso, Republican Mary Brooks Beatty, Statehood Green Party candidate Ann C. Wilcox and Independent candidates Leon Swain and A.J. Cooper all are aggressively targeting Brown for one of the two at-large seats on the ballot reserved for a non-Democrat.

Brooks Beatty, a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and Ward 6 community activist, reported she had raised about $4,200 since Aug. 1, and still had $16,700 in the bank. Cooper’s campaign is running on fumes, after he raised $9,700 during the reporting period but spent all but $330 of it. Swain and Wilcox’s reports were not not available on the Office of Campaign Finance Web site Thursday morning.

Though Grosso’s money advantage could energize his campaign, it remains to be seen whether he has enough money to successfully undermine Brown. Relatively well-known to District voters, Brown is likely betting that he doesn’t need nearly as many resources as Grosso, who is making his inaugural run for public office.

Council member Vincent B. Orange (D) also appears to be very confident of his chances. Orange, who spent more than $200,000 to win the Democratic nomination in May, raised only $8,300 during the reporting period. Orange has $12,000 in the bank, records show.

As the Democratic nominee, Orange is heavily favored to win one of the two at-large seats. But Orange’s lackluster fundraising could be a sign that the ongoing investigation into campaign donations from contractor Jeffrey E. Thompson has slowed his ability to raise money.

Four years ago, then at-large council member Kwame R. Brown raised and spent more than $50,000 on his general election campaign, even though he was heavily favored to win as the Democratic nominee.

In two other council races on the Nov. 6 ballot, the incumbents maintain spending advantages over their challengers.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) reported he raised about $106,000 during the period and had $127,000 in the bank. Mendelson’s only opponent, independent Calvin Gurley, has no money left for his campaign, records show.

In the Ward 7 council race, Council member Yvette Alexander (D) reported $12,000 in the bank. Alexander’s Republican challenger, Ronald Moten, had a cash-on-hand balance of about $2,700.

Council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) are running unopposed. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) is being challenged by Jauhar Abraham, a co-founder of Peaceholics. Abraham reported $2,600 in the bank. Barry’s report was not available Thursday morning.

By  |  10:26 AM ET, 10/11/2012

 
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