- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has eclipsed the total he raised to win the Democratic nomination in 2006, and with more than a year until the primary election he has no major challengers to his re-election bid.

According to the most recent campaign finance reports, Mr. Fenty has raised more than $2.5 million, just over $700,000 of that coming during the last reporting period, which ran from Feb. 1 to July 31.

About a third of that total, or about $270,000, came from 242 donations made by corporations, businesses or political action committees, according to campaign finance reports. The number does not include individual donors with interests in those organizations.

The rest of the money came from 671 donations from individual donors.

The mayor’s war chest for his 2010 bid has largely been built on 657 contributions of $2,000 — the legal limit in the District on donations from individuals or corporations.

Mr. Fenty raised $2.4 million during his 2006 campaign for the Democratic nomination for mayor. The September primary election for the mayor’s seat is essentially a guarantee of victory in the general election, because more than 75 percent of D.C. voters are registered as Democrats.

Mr. Fenty raised $3.8 million overall in the 2006 campaign.

Douglas Patton, a lawyer and former deputy mayor, co-hosted a recent fundraiser at the Georgetown Club. He said guests paid $500 to attend the reception and $1,000 for dinner with the mayor — the going rate for such fundraisers, Mr. Patton said. He said the event garnered more than $35,000 for the mayor’s campaign.

Mr. Patton, who also hosted a luncheon for Mr. Fenty during his previous run for mayor, said the total for the recent gathering was less than events held before the economic downturn.

Although the mayor doesn’t appear to have any major challengers, Mr. Patton said, it’s important for candidates to have a backup plan.

“You never know when you might need the money,” Mr. Patton said, pointing to Mayor Anthony A. Williams’ 2002 re-election campaign, during which irregularities discovered in hundreds of nominating signatures required the mayor to wage a write-in campaign to get his name on the ballot. “Sometimes you might have to use it.”

Mr. Fenty’s only announced challenger is Sulaimon Brown, a former Fenty volunteer, who announced his intention to run in June and has raised less than $10,000, according to campaign finance reports.

Council members Kwame R. Brown, at-large Democrat, and Michael A. Brown, at-large independent, have been mentioned as candidates, but neither has publicly declared an intention to run.

Also among the possible challengers to Mr. Fenty is D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. Mr. Gray, who has not filed paperwork to seek re-election to the council, also has not stated an intention to run for mayor.