Campaign finance reports show DC candidates increasing spending

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DC candidates have increased their spending over the past month as candidates make last-minute appeals to voters who have yet to vote, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports due before the June 21 Democratic primary.

For the second month in a row, mayoral candidate Robert C. White Jr., DC council member, reported more individual contributions from DC residents than Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, despite garnering more twice as many as White during the course of their campaigns. In the month to June 10, Bowser brought in about $30,000 from 240 District residents — up from $18,156 during the last reporting period — as well as $15,222 from donors who live outside the District, according to reports. White raised $32,510 from 464 DC residents and $7,716 from non-residents during the same period.

Both campaigns have increased spending significantly since their last reports, which captured campaign activity from April to early May. White’s campaign has spent more than $904,000 since May 11, including about $483,000 on advertising; Bowser’s campaign has spent more than $1.3 million this time, including $500,000 for advertising expenses.

Bowser, however, reports having a lot more cash on hand. He has more than $1.6 million left to close out the period, while White has about $181,000. Both candidates are using the city’s public funding program, which caps individual donations at small dollar amounts while matching donations from city residents, 5-to-1, with taxpayer funds.

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The other two Democratic mayoral candidates, Councilman Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) and former Neighborhood Advisory Commissioner James Butler, who does not use public funding and therefore has a higher limit on individual contributions, had not submitted reports to the Bureau. campaign finance by Monday afternoon. Teat White has requested an extension, OCF spokesman Wesley Williams said.

The majority of candidates for mayor, attorney general and council opted for the fair election agenda – and in the DC attorney general contest, the use of public funding emerged as one of the few ways by which the three candidates sought to distinguish themselves. to voters.

Brian Schwalb, managing partner of Venable, and Ryan Jones, an independent lawyer, opted for the program, unlike Bruce V. Spiva, former managing partner of the law firm Perkins Coie. The most recent fundraising reports show Schwalb received about $21,400 from DC residents and $14,000 from nonresidents.

Schwalb has now raised a total of $1.1 million including public funding, although it has seen a decrease in overall contributions since the last reporting period. Spiva has raised a total of around $423,000 from his campaign – and his most recent report shows he has also lent $535,000 to his own campaign.

Jones has received about $246,000 during his campaign, but has increased his donations from DC residents and non-residents since his last report, receiving $2,523 from residents and $1,112 from non-residents during this reporting period.

In addition to the candidates’ individual campaign coffers, the latest filings also show two education groups pouring more than $1.3 million into the races. The DC Chapter of Democrats for Education Reform — a group that supports charter schools and the city’s current mayoral control system — has spent more than $1 million supporting Bowser, the incumbent president of the DC council Phil Mendelson and Ward 3 candidate Eric Goulet.

The group, which is not allowed to coordinate with individual campaigns, has received significant funding from high-profile national figures, including Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founder and supporter of charter schools. DC Charter School Action, an independent spending committee, has spent nearly $300,000 so far this election cycle. No other organization, according to campaign finance reports, spent even a fraction of what these groups spent on local elections.

The reports also help show how the races for the DC Council are going in the final stretch before the primary.

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In the race for the presidency of the council, Mendelson, who does not use public funding, took more $259,000 since March 11 and $779,464 in total; he has $316,241 in cash. In her campaign to overthrow Mendelson, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Erin Palmer reports receiving just under $10,000 in individual contributions over the past month, 95% of donations have come from DC residents. She has over $88,000 in cash to close out her main campaign.

In the increasingly intense race for the Ward 1 council seat, where all three candidates are using public funding, former police officer Salah V. Czapary reports raising more than $11,300 from DC residents in last month, while two-term holder Brianne K. Nadeau raised $10,844. It surpassed it in local donations for two consecutive reporting periods, although Nadeau collected more from non-residents in the last reporting period.

Nadeau and Czapary raised a total of approximately $241,000 and $209,000, respectively, and now have similar amounts of money to close the period. Sabel Harris, who is running on a similar Liberal platform as Nadeau, raised just over $500 from individual donors in the last reporting period and raised a total of around $50,000, including taxpayer funds.

Czapary spent about $122,900 during the reporting period — including just under $72,000 on campaign mailings — representing more than 60% of his total campaign spend. Nearly half of Nadeau’s $200,000 outlay also occurred in the last reporting period, with the lion’s share going to consulting fees.

The reports also help differentiate candidates in the hotly contested Democratic Ward 3 primary. Seven candidates are using public funding; high school student Henry Cohen opted out of fundraising in the race, while former Neighborhood Advisory Commissioner and housing advocate Deirdre Brown uses traditional fundraising and raised about $77,500 during her campaign.

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Among the Ward 3 candidates participating in public funding, local activist Matthew Frumin is leading the fundraiser with a total of $205,800; he also spent the most, and just like his rival candidates, the majority of his spending took place during the last reporting period.

Monte Monash, a former DC Library board member, ranks second in total revenue at $146,708. She is closely followed by Palisades community leader Tricia Duncan – who won the support of outgoing Ward 3 council member Mary M. Cheh last month – as well as Goulet and Ward 3 Democratic chair Phil. Thomas. However, Duncan suddenly dropped out of the race on Monday night, throwing his support behind Frumin.

Goulet, who was endorsed by the Washington Post editorial board last month, outperformed all Ward 3 candidates during this reporting period. Rounding out the pack are advisory ward commissioners Ben Bergmann and Beau Finley, who have raised around $99,000 and $106,000 respectively in their campaigns.

In Ward 5, four of the seven candidates had submitted financial reports by Monday afternoon, while Williams said the others had been granted extensions. In the race to become an at-large member of the DC Council, two of the four candidates have requested extensions.

Ahead of November’s general election, three independents running for a seat on the general council also filed reports this week. Newcomer Graham McLaughlin, who presents himself as a business-friendly candidate, has so far edged out incumbent Elissa Silverman, taking home around $185,000 to Silverman’s $165,000, although Silverman has raised more in the last reporting period. Karim Marshall, the third candidate in the race, has raised $14,787 so far.

Perry Stein contributed to this report.


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