New fundraising figures in the Ward 8 special election suggest that Muriel Bowser‘s Green Team could extend its reach across the Anacostia River. LaRuby May, the mayor’s pick to replace the late Marion Barry on the Council, outraised her nearest rivals by more than $100,000 in the past two months.
From mid-December to the end of January, May brought in $177,404.76, compared to $51,691.98 from her nearest competitor. With nearly $7,000 spent, May has $170,444.03 cash on hand.
May’s fundraising was boosted last Saturday when Bowser held a fundraiser with her ahead of that night’s fundraising deadline. Like Bowser and Ward 4 special election counterpart Brandon Todd, May is boosted by a number of developers and lobbyists, as well as other members of Bowser’s camp. Also donating: Phinis Jones, May’s old boss and Bowser scandal albatross, who put in $1,000 between himself and one of his companies.
May’s closest competitor in fundraiser is Sheila Bunn, Vince Gray‘s former deputy chief of staff. Bunn, who comes from prominent Ward 8 family, spent $10,377.03, leaving her with $41,314.94 cash on hand. Her numbers were swelled by a number of top former Gray staffers, including ex-chief of staff Chris Murphy ($500) and former City Administrator Allen Lew ($250). But no one helped more than Bunn herself, loaning her campaign a hefty $26,796.98.
Former WPFW radio host Eugene D. Kinlow pulled in a respectable $42,941.00, including a $9,000 loan to his own campaign. Kinlow’s donors include new Attorney General Karl Racine, who kicked in $500.
Natalie Williams, the Ward 8 Democrats president who’s considered competitive in the race, brought in $31,229.86 but spent nearly half of it—-including nearly $8,000 on a wrapped RV. That left her with $16,581.51 cash on hand. Williams’ fundraising includes a $24,414.86 personal loan to her effort.
Ward 8 wags consider former State Board of Education member Trayon White a player in the crowded race, though he brought in a dismal $2,562.00.
Perhaps the most intriguing candidate didn’t even file his forms. Christopher Barry lost his campaign manager over the weekend in his effort to take his father’s seat. Now, Office of Campaign Finance spokesman Wesley Williams tells LL that Barry missed last night’s filing deadline.
Update, 2/5, 1:30 p.m.: Christopher Barry has belatedly turned in his Office of Campaign Finance report, and it is something. Barry reports bringing in $5,233, made up of $4,438 from a loan to his campaign and $795 in contributions. It’s not the worst haul in the field, but compared to May’s nearly $180,000, it’s not much to work with.
It’s hard to know who’s backing Barry. His campaign report describes $695 as coming from online donation site Act Blue, rather than naming the donors who gave the money through the site. Barry’s report also doesn’t list any expenses, despite having at least one in its campaign T-shirts. Barry didn’t respond to an immediate request for comment.
Photo by Will Sommer