Mayor Marion Barry, boosted by large contributions from developers, contractors and builders, has raised $178,059 in two weeks for his reelection campaign, according to reports filed yesterday with the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics.
Barry, who registered as a candidate for mayor last Thursday, received money from about 320 contributors including more than half a dozen corporations in which developer Dominic F. Antonelli is a partner and $34,600 from developers competing to develop the coveted Portal urban renewal site in Southwest. The city's Redevelopment Land Agency is to award development rights for the site today.
City Council member John Ray, who has been raising money for the mayoral race since September, has collected the largest amount--$203,761. Council member John A. Wilson (D-Ward 2), whose ward includes most of the downtown business district, has raised $92,150, including $31,450 collected by an exploratory campaign committee. Many of Barry's contributors also gave to Wilson and Ray, ignoring the mayor's declaration that he would not accept money from persons who contribute to more than one candidate.
At-Large Council member Betty Ann Kane, the other major contender in the race, reported raising $24,860.
The support for Barry was in sharp contrast to his long-shot candidacy in 1978, during which he was generally shunned by major city business people who favored then incumbent Walter E. Washington and Sterling Tucker, who at the time was chairman of the City Council. Barry narrowly defeated the two in the Democratic primary.
"I think this shows that Marion has a broad base of support," said Delano E. Lewis, head of the Finance Committee for Citizens to Re-Elect Marion Barry. "Our goal is to raise a half million dollars. He raised three hundred and some thousand in '78 and we felt we could go beyond that."
"We've had good response from the business community," Lewis said. "I think they feel more comfortable with Marion now. But even before he was mayor, I think he was sensitive to the business concerns."
Lewis said he saw nothing wrong with the contributions from potential Portal developers. "I would think," Lewis said, "that people supporting the mayor can separate the RLA decision on Portal from the mayor. The RLA is an independent board that makes decisions on its own."
Five teams are vying for the right to develop the 10-acre site at the foot of the 14th Street bridge. Lewis, an assistant vice president for the C&P Telephone Co., is a partner in one of the teams.
Among the firms that gave money to the mayor were six in which Antonelli, a one-time supporter of former mayor Washington, is a partner. Antonelli is one of the city's largest landowners and also is a member of one of the five firms competing for the rights to the Portal site.
Other contributors to the mayor included his wife, Effi Slaughter Barry, who gave $2,000; District Cablevision Inc., which gave $2,000; developer Jeffrey N. Cohen and his wife Francine, each of whom contributed $2,000. Barry received another $2,000 from Cohen's realty firm, JNC Enterprises, Inc.
In 1978 most of Barry's contributions came from individuals in small amounts. Of those reported yesterday, 41 were for $2,000 each, 20 of $1,500 each and 42 of $1,000--a total of at least $154,000 in contributions of $1,000 or more.
Wilson's press aide, Gregory Simpkins, said Wilson was encouraged by the approximately $100,000 he has raised because Wilson attracted the money despite being seen as a long shot in the mayoral race.
"He is very definitely a candidate and he very definitely has a good chance of winning, as the money shows," Simpkins said.
Kane, who raised the least of the major candidates, said she was not upset by the absence of big business contributors to her campaign. Among her contributors were former corporation counsel John R. Risher Jr., who gave $1,000, and lawyers Richard N. Wolf (past president of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society) and Arthur J. Delaney.
Two of Kane's contributors, Joseph Schuble and Steven G. Fisher, are on Barry's reelection finance committee.