LL seems to have made a serious mistake.

For months, he has been avidly following the candidates lining up to challenge four-term incumbent Carol Schwartz for the non-Democratic at-large seat. He’s been spending all his time charting the fundraising endeavors of Adam Clampitt, Dee Hunter, and Michael A. Brown. Just last week, he blew up rumors that Marie Johns might enter the race.

But the true threat to Schwartz’ sinecure might be, gasp, a fellow Republican! Patrick Mara, the 33-year-old Columbia Heights resident planning to challenge Schwartz, announced in a press release minutes ago that he’s raised just over $50,000 in two weeks of his campaign, with virtually all of it still on hand.

That’s an absolutely flabbergasting figure, probably enough to fund an effective direct-mail campaign to every Republican voter in town. It also makes him the best-financed non-Dem at-large candidate.

LL took a quick glance at his June 10 finance report. Some things that caught his eye: Maximum donations from Federal City Council chair Terry Golden and wife Kathleen. Thousands and thousands from downtown parking interests, including Doggett Enterprises, Atlantic Parking, and MarcParc. Max donations from donors affiliated with construction outfits like Miller and Long and MC Dean. Max donations from White House communications aide Tucker Eskew and his wife Lisa.

LL is going to go ahead and call this the big-business backlash that Chamber of Commerce types had been promising ever since the Sick and Safe Leave Bill passed earlier this year.

LL’s call to Mara was not immediately returned. There will be massive followup tomorrow!

UPDATE, 8:05 P.M.: OK, how bout massive followup right now:

Mara calls back to say you ain’t seen nothin’ yet: “August is going to be an even more impressive showing,” he promises. Checks from friends and family not sensitive to the publicity demands of a filing deadline failed to get their checks in on time, and Mara plans to throw a major fundraiser later this month at a restaurant TBA.

The Golden donations, he says, came after he started making the business community rounds. Terry Golden, he says, offered advice on his run: “We had a great discussion.”

Besides the fundraiser, Mara, as LL speculated, plans to do a mailing by the end of the month. He also says to look for him in this weekend’s Capital Pride parade.