- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2006

D.C. Council Chairman Linda W. Cropp, at-large Democrat, has raised nearly $761,000 since June 11 and has raised a total of $2.5 million for her mayoral campaign, surpassing council member Adrian M. Fenty, campaign finance records show.

Mr. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, has raised $620,000 since June 11 and has raised a total of $2.37 million.

The reports, which were filed late yesterday, highlight the heated nature of the mayoral race, which has become the most expensive in the District’s history.

During the previous filing period, Mr. Fenty outperformed Mrs. Cropp by about $200,000, and a poll of registered Democrats conducted last month by The Washington Post showed Mr. Fenty leading Mrs. Cropp by eight percentage points.

Despite trailing Mrs. Cropp in overall funds, Mr. Fenty currently has more cash on hand, the finance records show. He has $1.61 million on hand, compared with Mrs. Cropp’s $1.27 million.

Fenty supporters late yesterday said readily available money, not overall income, will be important in the days before the Sept. 12 Democratic primary.

“We’re comfortable that we have the resources to really spring to the finish line,” said Alec Evans, a spokesman for Mr. Fenty.

Mrs. Cropp cited the finance figures as evidence of her strong voter base.

“This shows that my support grows as more and more voters consider the high stakes in this election and the clear differences between me and Mr. Fenty,” she said.

Among reports available late yesterday for the other top mayoral candidates, council member Vincent B. Orange Sr., Ward 5 Democrat, collected about $36,000 since June 11, bringing his total to $466,000. He has about $25,000 on hand.

Lobbyist Michael A. Brown, who has focused much of his campaign on reaching out to city teens, raised $43,000 since June 11, but incurred more than $19,000 in campaign debt. He is left with $2,400 on hand.

Financial records for former Verizon executive Marie C. Johns were not available.

The tone of the mayoral campaign has changed since last month. Mrs. Cropp has begun publicly attacking Mr. Fenty’s record as a council member and a lawyer in the District.

Mrs. Cropp has criticized Mr. Fenty for his vote late last month against emergency anti-crime legislation that authorized surveillance cameras in neighborhoods and instituted a 10 p.m. weeknight curfew for teens.

She also has issued a glossy mailer that attacks Mr. Fenty for his vote and asks “can we trust Adrian Fenty to be a mayor who protects us from crime?”

Mr. Fenty was the only council member to vote against the legislation.

Mrs. Cropp yesterday criticized Mr. Fenty’s record as a court-appointed guardian for the estate of two elderly men when he worked as a lawyer before beginning his council career.

The criticism occurred during a mayoral debate in Southeast sponsored by the AARP.

Mr. Fenty has not responded to the criticism.

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