After late campaign start, D.C. mayor raises $627,000 since December

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has raised $627,000 since he announced his bid for reelection in December, according to a closely watched campaign finance report filed late Friday.

For Gray, the tally fell short of what some campaign fundraisers had said was a goal of $1 million by the end of the January. But with thrifty spending, Gray reported $560,000 in cash on hand with 60 days to go before the city’s April 1 primary.

The surge has Gray’s tally closing fast on the war chests amassed over a period of many more months by his challengers on the D.C. Council.

Council member Jack Evans, the first candidate to raise $1 million in December, added $198,000 to his tally. He also cut back on the heavy spending of recent months, leaving him with more than $685,000 in the bank.

Council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4), who was the first to announce for mayor 10 months ago and beat Gray last month in a Ward 8 straw poll, raised nearly $166,000. She joined Evans as the second to break $1 million.

Bowser’s spending accelerated, however. She spent more than $130,000. Still, she enters the final two months with the most money of any candidate: $791,000.

Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6), who has shunned corporate contributions and had begun to lag behind Evans and Bowser, passed the half-million dollar mark, according to a copy of the filing. He raised $90,000, spent over half that and had $169,000 on hand.

Council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At Large), raised $43,000, a fall-off of about 50 percent from his first reporting period. He spent $35,000 and has more than $87,000 remaining.

Andy Shallal, the millionaire owner of Busboys and Poets, put $50,000 of his own money into his campaign. Previously, he loaned the campaign $45,000.

Shallal raised an additional $50,000 from contributors for a total of $103,000 since December. He spent $97,000 and has $99,000 remaining.

In a tweet late Friday, Wells criticized the fundraising of others. “Campaign finance reports reveal little $ local residents have in DC elections.” In another from his campaign account Saturday morning, he took aim at Gray, noting that many city employees had helped lift the mayor’s fundraising total.

Dozens of city employees, including many members of Gray’s senior staff, his chief of staff, deputy mayors and fire chief all contributed the maximum $2,000. Prominent developers, bankers, lawyers and lobbyists also were listed on Gray’s report. Among them was college fraternity brother and lobbyist Bruce Bereano, who contributed $2,000. Several of his clients also wrote checks to Gray.

Early last month, two people with knowledge of Gray’s fundraising plans said they understood the goal was to collect $1 million in the three weeks leading up to the Jan. 31 fundraising deadline. Another person said the goal was to raise between $750,000 and $1 million by that time.

Chuck Thies, Gray’s campaign manager, played down those figures at the time, saying many numbers had been tossed out as goals at a planning meeting. He has stressed that Gray is spending frugally.

In a statement late Friday, Gray said that people who care about the city are supporting his campaign so he can “build on the accomplishments” of his first term.

The haul is Gray’s first for a mayoral run since his 2010 campaign, which remains under federal investigation for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unreported contributions.

Aaron Davis covers D.C. government and politics for The Post and wants to hear your story about how D.C. works — or how it doesn’t.
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