Supporters of D.C. City Council member John Ray announced yesterday that they have raised more than $116,000 in the last two months -- more than twice the amount Ray said he planned to collect in that time to demonstrate that he can be a viable candidate for mayor in next year's elections.
The contributions -- including 18 donations of $2,000 each (the maximum gift allowed) and 39 contributions of $1,000 or more each -- were listed in a required financial report filed yesterday with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.
Ray, 38, a lawyer who abandoned a longshot campaign for mayor in 1978 because he could not raise sufficient funds but who later was elected to the council with Mayor Marion Barry's active support, said yesterday that he expects to make a formal announcement of his candidacy for mayor as early as next month.
"This shows people believe in me and that I have the entire city's interest at heart," Ray said. "I am not a member of a powerful committee. This is money that is generally not tapped."
"You see a lot of contributions in there from lawyers because I am a lawyer," Ray said, pointing out that many of the $1,000 and $2,000 donations came from friends who either went to school with him or worked with him as a lawyer.
Among Ray's major contributors was Robert W. Corby of Northwest Washington, an investment banker with Robert W. Corby and Co., Inc., who also serves on the exploratory finance committee, and members of the Corby family, who contributed a total of more than$7,000, according to the report.
Another major contributor, the reports indicated, was Richard M. Aronoff of Washington , a lawyer who specializes in real estate transactions. Aronoff contributed $2,000, along with his mother, Cecelia, who gave $2,000 even though she said, "I'm a widow and I'm not interested in politics." Martin J. Aronoff, a cousin, gave $250.
Richard D. David, Aronoff's law partner, also chipped in $2,000, according to the report.
In addition, Ray picked up significant $1,000 contributions from both the exclusive Fairfax Hotel and the Jockey Club, $1,000 from Morris Morgan, owner of a popular Georgia Avenue crab house, and $2,000 from attorney Walter Pozen, a member of the Ray fundraising committee.
Out-of-town groups that contributed $1,000 each included the Hotel Nvarro Corporation of New York, the Tremont Hotel in Chicago, the Intercity Box and Plastic Co. of Freeport, Ill., and the Dallas Label and Box Co. The B.S.& S. Inc. scrap metal company of Brownsville, Tex., gave $2,000 according to yesterday's report.
Ray acknowledged that he did not know who some of the contributors were except that they were either friends or business associates of his supporters.
Some of Ray's well-known local contributors included Nancy M. (Bitsy) Folger of Cleveland Park, who serves on Ray's committee and donated $2,000. She was a key fundraiser and early supporter of Barry in 1978.
Ann W. Brown, cochairman of Sterling Tucker's losing 1978 bid, gave Ray $1,000.
In all, the committee listed 224 contributions ranging from $25 to $2,000. The committee report said the group has spent $3,049.39, mostly for telephone bills, office rental and about $1,500 for campaign consultants.