If you live in or drive through the District, get used to seeing these two names on campaign signs: Brandon Todd and LaRuby May.
With six weeks to go before special elections to fill open D.C. Council seats, the two candidates have amassed big campaign war chests, according to campaign finance reports that were due at midnight Tuesday.
Todd, a Democrat seeking the Ward 4 seat vacated by Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), reported raising almost $99,000 in a little more than a month. That left Todd with about $328,000 to spend as the April 28 election nears.
Todd’s closest rival in the money race last month had not posted a report on the District’s Web site by Wednesday afternoon. In early February, Todd’s tally was more than triple that of any competitor.
May, a Democrat pursuing the Ward 8 seat left open by the death of Marion Barry (D), reported raising about $66,000 in the most recent period, or twice as much as her closest rival. May had about $130,000 on hand, or four times as much as any other Ward 8 candidate heading into the race’s final weeks.
Todd was Bowser’s campaign finance director in last year’s mayoral race. May coordinated Bowser’s field operation in Ward 8.
The latest campaign reports show that Todd and May have benefited politically from their ties to the mayor. Bowser has headlined fundraisers for both, and developers, construction firms and other Bowser contributors have given to them.
Despite Todd’s and May’s financial advantages, however, the sheer numbers of candidates in the two races inject a measure of uncertainty about the outcomes. More than a dozen candidate names will appear on the Ward 4 ballot. In Ward 8, 15 candidates will be listed.
In Ward 4, political consultant Douglass Sloan reported raising more than $3,200 from Feb. 1 through March 10; he had about $13,000 on hand for the final stretch. Dwayne M. Toliver, a lawyer, raised nearly $10,000 and had $11,000 to spend. Leon T. Andrews Jr., a senior fellow at the National League of Cities, who reported raising $25,910 by early February, had not posted a report for the latest period.
In Ward 8, voting rights advocate Eugene Dewitt Kinlow raised more than $31,000 and had $34,000 on hand, according to his filing.
Sheila Bunn, previously a top aide to then-Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), reported raising $13,855. Bunn had $32,000 on hand.
Natalie Williams, a public relations consultant, reported almost $19,000 in new contributions. She had $23,600 on hand.
Trayon White, a former elected member of the D.C. State Board of Education, reported raising more than $10,000 and had more than $12,000 on hand.
The high-profile candidacy of Marion Christopher Barry in Ward 8 gained some traction with contributors. The son of the former four-term mayor reported almost $10,000 in contributions, including a $1,200 loan he made to his campaign for his father’s council seat. Early last month, Barry missed the first major reporting deadline and then reported raising a couple thousand dollars.
Barry had about $10,000 remaining. Last week, Barry let a deadline pass without accepting a deal offered by prosecutors related to a January incident in which he allegedly threatened a teller and destroyed a security camera at a Chinatown bank. Barry, who is on probation, could be brought to trial in May.