If the District’s big money donors could vote in the Ward 8 special election, LaRuby May would win in a walk. Muriel Bowser‘s pick to replace Marion Barry continued to out-raise her rivals in February and March, according to new Office of Campaign Finance reports. Meanwhile, after a lackluster start, Marion C. Barry is starting to get some cash from his dad’s old supporters.
May’s campaign continues to prove that the Bowser endorsement is worth a lot of money from outside the ward. May raised $66,677 between Feb. 1 and March 10 and spent $109,871.27, leaving her with $129,749.76 cash on hand. That puts May, who recently won an organization from the District’s National Organization for Women chapter, with $90,000 more in cash reserves than her nearest competitor.
May has attracted the kinds of city contractors, lobbyists, and business types who don’t mind maxing out. LL counted $1,500 worth in contributions from businesses and people associated with major city contractor Fort Myer Construction. Also kicking in: councilmember-turned-lobbyist John Ray‘s law firm ($500) and the PAC associated with rail operator CSX ($500).
Barry isn’t approaching May or several of his others rivals in fundraising, but he is at least starting to convince his dad’s old associates to open their checkbooks. After an abysmal first fundraising report, Barry raised $3,197.46, including a $1,200 loan from himself.
That leaves $10,059.45 cash on hand—not exactly RV money, but enough to run a ward-level campaign for another month and a half. Among Barry’s donors: stepmother Cora Masters Barry ($300), two restaurants from Chinatown kingpin/restauranteur Tony Cheng ($1,000), and former Barry mayoral staffers Elijah Rogers ($250) and Courtland Cox ($500). In the same reporting period, elder Barry protégé-turned-candidate Trayon White upped his totals after his own dismal first report, bringing in $10,647.05 in the fundraising period.
Candidate Eugene Kinlow‘s fundraising apparatus keeps chugging, bringing in $31,065. With $34,034.50 cash on hand, Kinlow has the second-largest cash reserves. He also one of the more interesting donor lists in the race, which includes the law firm owned by attorney general candidate Paul Zukerberg ($250), Wilson Building superlawyer David Wilmot ($500), and disgraced former Council chairman Kwame Brown ($100).
Vince Gray pick Sheila Bunn raised just $13,855 this period, but managed to hang on to enough cash to have $32,187.72 left to spend before election day on April 28. Ward 8 Democrats president Natalie Williams brought in $18,901.50 and finished with $23,678.63 cash on hand.
Photo by Will Sommer