With a week left until the April 26 At-Large Special Election, there's plenty of money floating around -- especially for Vincent Orange.
According to the eight-day pre-Special Election campaign finance reports, Orange leads the field in cash-on-hand, holding $134,000 for the final week. In the period from March 10 to April 18, he raised $70,000, adding to the $191,000 he reported in March. Interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle raised more money in the final fundraising period -- around $74,000 -- but only has $24,000 left to spend.
Bryan Weaver took in $25,000 and has $30,000 on hand, Patrick Mara raised $28,000 and had $15,000 left, and Josh Lopez claimed just under $8,000 and has close to $20,000 to use through April 26. Alan Page trailed behind with close to $1,800 raised and just over $1,100 left until Election Day.
Combing through the spending section of the reports, it becomes clear that Orange is spreading his money around in lots of small payments to campaign workers. Of 131 listed campaign outlays, 88 went to campaign workers in payments from $60 to to $2,500, the latter of which went to campaign manager Douglass Sloan. (During his re-election campaign last year, Mayor Adrian Fenty showed similar spending habits with his $5 million war chest.) More formally, Kennedy Communications, the political shop that ran Mayor Vince Gray's campaign, took in $63,183, likely for Orange's eight-page mailer ("The Plan") and his snazzy website.
Biddle, on the other hand, directed over $30,000 to LSG Strategies, the home of former Fenty strategist Tom Lindenfeld. He also dropped $15,000 on Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, over $4,000 for advertising in The Current (bringing his total payments to the four-newspaper chain to close to $10,000), $75 at Taqueria Distrito Federal, and $54 at Curbside Cupcakes. Unlike Orange, Biddle seems to pay a small fulltime campaign staff and rely on volunteers.
Weaver's spending habits are interesting, to say the least. His biggest outlays were for advertising -- he sent money to The Current, The InTowner, The Washington City Paper, The Blade, and the blogs Prince of Petworth and The Georgetown Dish. (He's also got ads appearing on Facebook.)
Most of Mara's money (over $30,000) went to Cap Public Affairs, with another $2,000 to The Current for advertising and $3,790 to The Blade for the same. Lopez has been most frugal in his spending, seemingly not paying any big money for campaign staff, consultants or advertising. He's been in the campaign longest but only spent $8,528.96.