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In just four days, Ward 2 Council candidate Jordan Grossman has taken in enough donations to qualify for D.C.’s new public campaign financing program, according to his campaign.
Grossman, 33, believes the influx of cash is evidence of growing dissatisfaction with the scandal-laden Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.
Evans is currently the target of a federal investigation into his private business dealings. The D.C. Council reprimanded Evans and stripped his Committee on Finance and Revenue of some responsibilities after the Washington Post uncovered business pitches Evans sent to firms that lobby the D.C. government from his Council email address. In the pitches, Evans touted his business connections and political influence in an attempt to gain private employment.
“This announcement shows that the people in Ward 2 want a councilmember that’s for them and not for sale,” Grossman says.
Grossman is the second person to challenge Evans. Patrick Kennedy, a 27-year-old advisory neighborhood commissioner in Foggy Bottom, and Evans’ former campaign chairman, also intends to apply for public campaign funds.
Under the public campaign financing program, candidates agree to accept smaller donations and cannot take money from business or corporate entities or political action committees.
The program’s rules vary depending on which office a candidate is seeking, but a ward-level candidate must take in at least 150 donations of $50 or less, totaling at least $5,000. While Grossman says he’s hit that mark, it will be up to the Office of Campaign Finance to confirm whether each donation meets the program’s qualifications.
If he’s approved, Grossman would receive two $20,000 base payments as well as funds to match qualifying donations at a rate of 5 to 1. The maximum amount of matching funds a ward-level candidate can receive is $241,055.
Evans has not faced a challenger in more than a decade, and has largely relied on donations from the business community. In 2012, Evans raised $370,000; he raised $227,000 in 2016.
Grossman is a former staffer in the Obama administration; he’s also worked for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar. In order to run for office, he recently resigned from his job in the D.C. government, where he worked for an agency that assists D.C. residents with Medicaid enrollment and housing and homeless services. He recently started a new job doing policy research for Co-equal, a progressive organization that lobbies Congress.