In her first bid for public office, Mayor-Elect Sharon Pratt Dixon raised a campaign war chest of $1.3 million, rivaling the amount Mayor Marion Barry raised in 1986 during his third mayoral run, according to a report the Dixon campaign filed this week with the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.
Dixon's long-shot campaign brought in much of that amount in the weeks just after her surprising victory in the Democratic mayoral primary in September. Funds continued to flow into Dixon's coffers after her landslide victory in the November general election.
During the last two months, Dixon's campaign brought in $670,561.47 and reported spending $864,217.66. She reported $102,793.69 in cash on hand.
Former D.C. police chief Maurice T. Turner Jr., Dixon's Republican opponent in the mayoral race, raised $816,493.13 during the calendar year, spent $814,597.89, and reported debts of $186,341.14.
The D.C. Council approved a payment of $105,000 to Dixon yesterday for transition expenses. If she had been denied the payment, however, Dixon apparently was prepared to finance her transition with campaign funds.
According to Marianne C. Niles, director of the Office of Campaign Finance, Dixon transition chairman Vernon E. Jordan Jr. asked her last month for a legal opinion of how the campaign's cash could be spent.
"The law that governs campaign finance and conflict of interest does not make any provision for transition expenses," Niles said. "Since this is only the second time in history the District has gone through the process, we thought we'd try to carve out some creative ways they could cover transition expenses."