Muriel Bowser attracts big money in campaign’s final days


Several key donors are making big bets on Muriel Bowser in the final days of the primary race. (Michael S.Williamson/The Washington Post)

There are many ways to measure momentum, and one is in dollars and cents.

By that measure, Muriel Bowser’s mayoral campaign is building steam in the final days before the Democratic primary, gathering tens of thousands of dollars in donations to supplement its get-out-the-vote war chest.

Daily reports filed this week with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance show Bowser’s campaign taking in $63,500 in new donations since Monday’s reporting deadline, much of it from corporate contributors or business executives who have previously donated to other candidates. That’s more than 10 times the amount reported by incumbent Vincent C. Gray, who is tied with Bowser in recent polls.

They include $8,000 in donations from companies linked to developer Chris Donatelli, $2,000 from developer McCullough Residential, $2,500 from companies linked to Georgetown businessman Russell Lindner, $1,000 from Calvin Cafritz Investments (developer of a particularly controversial Connecticut Avenue apartment building), $2,000 from Blue Skye Development, headed by Adrian Fenty compatriot Bryan “Scottie” Irving, and $500 from Solanges Vivens, owner of a health care company that has been the target of a union organizing campaign.

Other listed donors include trash-hauling firms Bowie’s and Carter Enterprises; Scott Hall, general manager of Zipcar; Robert Flanagan, an executive vice president at Clark Enterprises, the construction and development giant; John Barron, president of Foulger-Pratt Contracting; and Mallory Walker, former president and chief executive of the Walker & Dunlop real-estate finance firm.

Campaign authorities have posted only one daily report for incumbent Vincent C. Gray’s campaign, meanwhile, totaling about $5,000. Six of the eleven donors listed are member of Gray’s Cabinet. (Campaign manager Chuck Thies said another roughly $16,000 in donations under $200, which do not need to be reported, have been collected this week.)

Jack Evans listed about $3,500 in new money, including a nearly $1,000 in-kind contribution from BLT Steak downtown. Tommy Wells listed $900 in new donations, and Vincent Orange listed a single $2,000 donation, from the Cheverly motel where Wells held a news conference in January to highlight the plight of the homeless families living there at the city’s behest.

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · March 28