One of the fringe benefits of Hilda Mason's victory in the July 19 special D.C. City Council election is that being the winner may help to ease the financial pains when she looks into her pocketbook and realizes that much of the $13,500 she pumped into the race will probably never return.
Susan Truitt, who loaned her ill-fated campaign $7,100 and Richard Clark, who gave $2,000 to his unsuccessful effort, will not have that consolation. Several other candidates will have the satisfaction of closing out their campaigns in the black. But then they didn't win either.
Several of the 10 candidates in the special election filed final campaign finance reports last week with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics as required by city law.
The reports showed that Mason, the leading fund raiser throughout the four-month campaign, received $29,470 and spent nearly all of it. Former D.C. School Superintendent Barbara A. Sizemore, who finished 683 votes behind Mason, received $3,925 but spent $9,002, according to the reports.
While most of the other candidates were well behind these two in vote totals, it was a different story when it came to raising money. Susan Truitt, the independent who finished fourth in the race, was apparently third in fund raising, with $21,780. Republican Paul Hays, who finished third in the election, was well below the others in fund raising, receiving less than $10,000.
Independent Richard R. Clark, who loaned his own campaign $2,000 and received only $85 more in other contributions, spent $1,550. Wade H. Jefferson, also an independent, ran a $38 campaign, according to his report.
No reports were immediately filed by Susan Pennington of the U.S. Labor Party, James Clark of the Jii Luana Party and D.C. Statehood Party candidates Leo A. Murray and Frank E. Sewell Jr.
The latest reports offered some intriguing footnotes to the campaign, which was marked by novel approaches to political strategy and a lack of funding from usual money sources that led many candidates to lean heavily on themselves for financial support.
Mason, who loaned her campaign committee $12,500 and contributed another $1,000, was the only one of the candidates able to pay modest salaries to three persons in her campaign offices, including the campaign manager, during the crucial final month of the campaign.
The strong support given her by most of the leading Democratic politicians in the city was an apparent boost in raising $3,545 in a $15-per-person Democrats for Mason party July 12.
Proceeds from the fund raiser were a substantial portion of the money she received in the final days of the campaign. Mason also was given $700 by DocPac, the political arm of the D.C. Medical Association, $300 by the Apartment and Office Building Association of Metropolitan Washington, and $155 from the D.C. Statehood Party, which had endorsed her candidacy.
Among the additional contributions Sizemore received in the final days before balloting were $200 from DocPac and $300 from Willie Leftwich, a partner in the law firm of Hudson and Leftwich.
Truitt received $25 from her former boss, Joseph P. Yeldell, for whom she worked in the D.C. Department of Human Resources. In a move copied by no other candidate, Truitt used nearly $600 to pay two dozen poll watchers on election day.