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D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty surpasses 2006 fundraising record

By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, March 12, 2010; B02

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has surpassed the record $3.8 million he raised to win election in 2006 by collecting $327,306 in less than five weeks, bringing his total to more than $3.9 million and widening the fundraising gap between him and his declared opponents.

His campaign finance report, filed late Wednesday, shows that about 73 percent, or $238,000, was raised among contributors who donated the maximum $2,000 and that $34,000 came in the form of $1,000 donations.

The report also showed that the Fenty campaign, known for its aggressive fundraising, is going beyond traditional contributors to people outside the city and outside government. Fenty's reach stretched from hip-hop producer Irv Gotti to wine critic and merchant Pierre-Antoine Rovani. Fenty (D) has $3.3 million in cash on hand, according to the report.

"Right now, it's an indication of the breath and depth of Adrian's campaign," said William Lightfoot, chairman of Fenty's campaign.

The amount and pace of his fundraising have far exceeded that of his declared opponents and create a significant hurdle for potential challengers, who include D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council member Kwame R. Brown (At Large), for the Democratic primary in September.

Former television reporter Leo Alexander, who has been holding coffee chats in neighborhoods around the city in his challenge to Fenty, raised $3,274 in the same filing period from Feb. 1 through Wednesday. He has raised $6,500 and has $2,600 in cash on hand. Sulaimon Brown, a former Fenty volunteer turned opponent, has $27.84 in cash on hand, spending nearly all of the $13,765 in total he has collected to spark a grass-roots campaign.

In the D.C. Council races, member David A. Catania (I-At Large), who has had a high profile as the chief sponsor of same-sex marriage legislation, led his colleagues in fundraising in the period. He raised $100,609, bringing his total to $134,359. Catania collected his contributions through several firms, such as developer JGB Cos. and law firms Nixon Peabody and Pillsbury Law, that flooded his campaign with contributions from principals and employees.

The contest between former recreation and parks director Clark Ray and incumbent Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) is being watched closely, and Ray outraised Mendelson in the period, $9,250 to $3,900. But Mendelson continues to stockpile his donations. He has $133,000 on hand, and Ray, who is trying to gain name recognition, has $47,225 available, their reports say.

The finance reports show that an interesting contest could be brewing in Ward 5. Council member Harry Thomas (D) raised $41,890 in the period and has $76,189 in cash on hand.

But challenger Kenyan McDuffie, a Justice Department lawyer who left his job to run, entered the race Feb. 17 and has raised $25,434 since then. Brookland community organizer Delano Hunter is also in that contest and recorded $7,567 in receipts for the period, bringing his total to $19,541.

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