Chavous, Brazil Boost Campaigns
By Yolanda Woodlee
D.C. Council members Kevin P. Chavous (D-Ward 7) and Harold Brazil (D-At Large) filed reports showing that they made personal loans to bolster their mayoral campaign coffers in the four weeks leading up to the Sept. 15 primary.
Chavous gave his campaign a $25,000 loan on July 31, the day before his finance report shows he spent $20,000 to pay his campaign staff members. He said the timing of the loan was a mere coincidence.
"I had always planned on helping out the campaign financially," Chavous said. "I can say we've never had a balance of less than $50,000."
Without his loan, the Chavous campaign would have entered the final weeks showing only $76,000 in cash on hand. He raised less than $100,000 in the two months before filing the report.
Chavous, who is running citywide for the first time, played down the necessity for the loan, saying this is the first race in which he raised more than $60,000. He said he is "pleasantly surprised" at people's charitable response.
Raising money is time-consuming and tiresome, Chavous said.
"You have to keep at fund-raising," he said. "I'd like to be in these neighborhoods every day, but you have to be on the phone. You have to be aggressive. It takes a lot of time. I'd love to spend more time on the street, but you need money to get your message out on the street."
Brazil filed an initial report in June that indicated he had raised $142,678. During the eight weeks before his Aug. 10 filing, he raised an additional $98,000. Brazil pumped $20,000 of his own money into the campaign, increasing the amount reported during that period to $118,000.
The top four Democratic mayoral candidates collectively have raised $1.7 million.
Jack Evans, the council member who represents the downtown business district, has raised nearly $650,000 in nine months. He reported collecting $104,000 since he last filed in June. Evans (D-Ward 2) reported having $400,000 to spend on getting his message out in the final days.
Anthony A. Williams, the District's former chief financial officer and the last of these four candidates to officially announce his campaign, said in his first report that he had received $427,500, including more than $30,000 transferred from his draft committee. Williams reported having $260,000 left in his coffers.
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