Incumbent D.C. City Council members, facing what political observers view as relatively minor opposition in the Sept. 9 primaries, are raising and spending far more money that their challengers.
On the other hand, in Ward 7, the only seat among the six races without an incumbent running, the candidates are spending money as fast as they can bring it in, mostly on flyers and bulk mailings, and to wage an ongoing war of billboards and yard signs.
In the campaign finance statements filed with the city's Board of Elections and Ethics yesterday, the five incumbents reported having raised a total of nearly $115,000 since January, even though they are all considered virtual shooins for renomination and then reelection.
More than half of the sum has been raised by John Wilson (D-Ward 2), who has piled up a war chest of $59,959 since January, $31,111 of that in direct contributions and that the rest raised from ticket sales at various fund-raising events.
With no primary opposition, and a general election race that he is heavily favored to win, Wilson has been able to afford luxuries available to few other candidates -- such as spending $5,250 on a research poll, $3,490 on brochures, and $346 on a month-long car rental. Wilson has spent a total of $25,367 on his uncontested primary renomination bid and still has $24,591 in cash.
The second biggest campaign chest has been collected by the Rev. Jerry A. Moore Jr. (R-At-Large), who has managed to raise a total of $21,077 for his reelection bid, including $7,752 since June 10. Moore has a total of $12,617 left in his war chest, spending most of his money on media, brochures and printing costs.
Accordong to Moore's report, his contributors gave mostly $5 and $10 donations, although he did receive some larger gifts from realtors and from investment attorneys, as well as $250 from Potomac Electric Power Co.'s Political Action Committee.
John Ray (D-At-Large) reported raising $32,245, nearly half of that amount since June 10. Ray has spent only $3,099 on his reelection, most since June 10.
Ray's donors include such prominent Washington businessmen as Dominie F. Antonelli, the parking executive and realtor, who gave Ray's campaign $500; developer Oliver T. Carr, who donated $250; another $500 from the Parklands Manor Associates real estate firm, and $500 from restauranteur Mary Lou Whitfield.
Ray also received a $50 contribution from former ambassador W. Averell Harriman and his wife.
Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8), who has no primary opponent, has raised $10,132, practically all of that since June 6. She spent $4,800 so far on her reelection, $3,600 of that on media advertising.
Rolark is chairwoman of the committee considering legislation to increase the hours District liquor stores may sell. Mart Liquors Ltd., on Martin Luther King Avenue Se., donated $400 to Rolark's campaign, while the Central Liquor Stores on 9th Street NW donated $100.
Two candidates seeking the Democratic council nomination, realtor H. R. Crawford and Johnny Barnes, legislative aide to D.C. Del. Walter E. Fauntroy, have raised a combined total of $31,000 since January in that hotly contested race. Crawford has collected $15,603 and spent all but $900 of that, while Barnes has raised $16,235 and has slightly more than $200 left.
The third candidate in the Ward 7 Democratic primary, Emily Y. Washington, a school board employe, has not filed any campaign finance statements.
Those three candidates, and Republican John West who reported he has collected no money, are competing to succeed retiring incumbent Willie J. Hardy, a Democrat, who has endorsed Barnes.