Mayor Marion Barry's reelection committee already has raised $691,919 -- the most money ever raised for a local political race, and more than twice the amount raised by any of his challengers -- according to reports filed yesterday with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.
Patricia Roberts Harris, shown by early polls to be Barry's chief rival in the Sept. 14 Democratic primary, is second in fund-raising with a total of $312,088, according to the reports.
The reports show that D.C. council member John L. Ray (D-At Large) has raised the third largest amount, $291,206, followed by council member Betty Ann Kane (D-At Large) with $159,261.
While Barry and Harris both have more than half of their contributions still in hand, Ray and Kane both reported apparent shortages of cash, with about four months left in the campaign. Ray has $17,293 to spend while Kane has $22,848.
Dr. Morris Harper, a newcomer to District of Columbia politics whose entry in the Democratic mayoral sweepstakes was lightly regarded by most observers, reported that he had raised a surprising $131,500 and has spent only $21,704.
Harper reported receiving funds from 135 individual contributors, with doctors and nurses predominating in the list but with contributions also reported from nutritionists, researchers, morticians, pharmacists, engineers, ministers and teachers.
Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) has raised $28,925 for the mayor's race and has spent 40 percent of that money.
Meanwhile, in the race for chairmanship of the D.C. Council, incumbent Arrington Dixon reported raising $77,386 for his reelection campaign.
Council member David A. Clarke, who is opposing Dixon, reported raising $31,301.
The reports filed yesterday showed that Barry continues to be the most effective fund-raiser in the mayor's race. The incumbent has been able to attract large contributions from a broad range of local businessmen and lawyers.
Since March 10, the last reporting date, Barry has raised $313,643, nearly half of his total contributions. During that same time, Harris raised $232,088, about two-thirds of the funds she has raised to date.
Harris did not begin fund-raising until late February, while Barry and the other candidates have been raising money since January. Ray has been raising money since last year.
One of the uses of a large campaign war chest is purchasing expensive television advertising. A spokesman said yesterday that Harris' strategists believe she will need to begin such advertising in late July or August, and the slow rate at which her campaign is spending its funds seemed to indicate that money was being tucked aside for such a media effort.
Thus far, Harris has spent $80,419. By contrast, Barry's campaign has spent $231,176 on media and other advertising expenses, although Barry still has more cash on hand than does Harris because he has raised so much more money.
The biggest surprise in the reports was the strong showing by Harper, who entered the race as an unknown. Harper, a graduate of Howard University and Harvard medical school, reported a large number of contributions from out of town, particularly from Massachusetts.
Kane, who has trailed the field in fund-raising since January, increased the rate at which she took in money during this reporting period, raising $78,874 since March 10. But Kane has spent $136,412 of the $159,261 that have been contributed to her campaign, and her cash on hand has shrunk from $54,130 before March 10 to $22,849 now.
Kane bought a half-hour of television time Tuesday night in an attempt to raise money. Kane said on Wednesday that she did not know how much money or pledges had been made to the campaign as a result of the show, and said that at any rate the full impact would not be evident on the reports.
John Ray was the early leader in the race for campaign fund-raising -- he had raised over $200,000 by February -- but has trailed Kane in fund-raising since March 10.
Ray has also spent most of his money, leaving him with $17,293 on hand, plus $8,000 in escrow to help buy advertising. Ray spent $138,847 of his money on advertising thus far.
Ray also has a relatevily large paid campaign staff of 13 persons. Harris has a paid staff of seven, Kane a staff of 12 and Barry a paid staff of about 18.
"We spent our money early," Ray said Wednesday night, referring to the difference between his campaign and Kane's. "We sent out letters, put literature in the voters' hands, and touched them a certain number of times. Now we have to have more money to go to the next step."
In the first significant reporting on fund-raising in the council chairman's race, Dixon, who has said he hopes to raise $350,000 for the campaign, reported spending $43,718 and now has $33,668 on hand.
Clarke, the only challenger to Dixon, has set $200,000 for his goal in a "grassroots" campaign. He reported spending $9,991 of the funds he has raised so far, and having $21,310 cash on hand.
Dixon's report showed three full-time staff members on his campaign staff and an expenditure of $8,000 for private polling by Opportunity Systems, Inc. He spent another $3,150 in preparation for advertising.
Dixon's report showed 191 separate contributions, including many from lawyers, liquor dealers, real estate interests and business political action committees. The report showed 10 contributions of $1,000 or more and more than a dozen contributions of $500.
Clarke, an attorney, reported three contributions of $1,000 or more, six contributions of $500 and showed more than 120 contributions of less than $100. His fund-raising efforts appear to be concentrated in his home ward.