D.C. Council Chairman and mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray, surging in the polls, has already exceeded the $1.5 million fundraising goal he established when he launched his campaign, according to sources familiar with his fundraising.
As of Aug. 10, Gray had raised about $1.3 million, according to campaign finance reports, while Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has taken in about $4.7 million.
But Gray has been collecting checks at a steady pace ever since a series of polls in late August showed him opening up a comfortable lead over Fenty. In a Washington Post poll published Sunday, Gray led Fenty by 17 percentage points among likely voters.
The sources on Gray's fundraising asked to remain anonymous because the new total has not been reported publicly. The next official fundraising report is due late next week.
On Friday, public relations guru Ann Walker Marchant will host a fundraiser for Gray at her house in Chevy Chase. The event, with tickets from $500 to $2,000, is being co-hosted by William Fitzgerald IV, lobbyist Robert Raben and George Walker IV.
On Sept. 9, just days before the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, Gray will cross into Maryland for a high-dollar fundraiser at The Country Club in Woodmore in Mitchellville.
When he entered the race in March, some were skeptical that Gray would be able to raise enough money to stay competitive with Fenty. But Gray has consistently exceeded fundraising targets, giving his campaign a bit more flexibility to try to compete.
Last week, Gray launched a television ad on cable television, a luxury some staffers initially did not think they would be able to afford. Part of Gray's fundraising success can be attributed to his ability to collect checks from well-off 30- and 40-something African-Americans who haven't always opened up to their wallets for political candidates, sources said.