Vincent Orange raised $0 through the January 31 reporting period. Through March 10, though, he took in a shocking $191,000, besting his competition by close to $150,000. Not only did he raise way more money, but he hasn't spent a dime, leaving him with the full $191,000 to carry him through to the April 26 At-Large Special Election.
The development has to worry the campaign of Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle, which raised a respectable $47,000 but is only left with $15,000 on hand. (There seems to be a mistake in Biddle's report, though. It claims that he's raised $100,000 so far and spent $62,000, so in theory he should have just south of $40,000 to work with. Regardless, Orange still has way more.)
Biddle is the presumed front runner, enjoying support from the city's political establishment. But Orange, who has run citywide campaigns before and served two terms on the D.C. Council, still enjoys name recognition and plenty of contacts to draw contributions from. (And he must have really worked the phones -- a surprising amount of his contributions are $1,000.) And, given the events of recent weeks involving D.C. Council Chair Kwame Brown and Mayor Vince Gray, being a pick of the establishment isn't something to boast about. Orange's harsh criticism of Brown's personal finances during the council chair campaign last year might be looking better now than they did then.
Of course, Orange hasn't really been doing much campaigning, but $191,000 goes a long ways in just over a month. If he simply rents enough buses and pays enough staff on the day of, he could easily drive turnout -- and grab a huge chunk of votes for himself in the process.
Might this be the mighty return of Vincent Orange, the very man Biddle beat in the January D.C. Democratic State Committee appointment process? It may well be.
In other campaign finance news (all the totals are here), Republican Pat Mara raised $29,000 and has that amount on-hand, Bryan Weaver took in $21,000 and has $20,000 on-hand, Josh Lopez collected $16,000 and has $19,000 on-hand, Jacque Patterson drew in $15,000 and has $18,000 on-hand, Arkan Haile raised $4,000 and has $11,000 on-hand, and Alan Page accounted for $749 and has $546 on-hand.
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