- The Washington Times - Monday, October 23, 2006

Former D.C. City Administrator Robert C. Bobb has built a big fundraising edge over his rivals in the race for the D.C. Board of Education presidency.

Mr. Bobb has collected more than $160,000, according to the latest campaign-finance reports. By contrast, candidate Carolyn N. Graham, the school board’s vice president, has raised more than $23,000.

Timothy Jenkins raised more than $7,700, while Laurent Ross reported more than $2,900 in donations. Candidate Sunday Abraham did not have to file a report because that campaign is spending less than $500.

Mr. Bobb’s contributors include some of the city’s largest contractors and businesses. He also has personally donated $50,000 to his campaign.

The principals at District-based Thompson Cobb Bazilio & Associates PC — Jeffrey E. Thompson, Michael J. Cobb and Ralph B. Bazilio — each gave personal donations of $500. The accounting firm also kicked in a $500 corporate donation.

The Chartered Family Health Center, also owned by Mr. Thompson, donated $500. Several members of the Bazilio family donated the maximum $500 each.

Mr. Bobb picked up several thousand dollars in contributions from members of the Ratner family, which runs Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises. The company is redeveloping property along the Anacostia River.

“It takes a lot of money to run a campaign and Mr. Bobb has a lot of supporters,” Bobb campaign spokeswoman Natalie Wilson said yesterday. “The level of support is reflected in the fundraising.”

Mr. Jenkins, a former president at the University of the District of Columbia, yesterday criticized Mr. Bobb’s campaign contributions from business interests.

“This is bringing to the District the kind of special-interest politics that I don’t think belong in a school board race,” he said.

Suzanne Peck, the District’s chief technology officer, gave $500 to Mrs. Graham, who could not be reached for comment yesterday.

D.C. lobbyist Kerry Pearson also donated $500 to Mrs. Graham. Other $500 contributions to the Graham campaign came from Forney Enterprises, Jair Lynch Cos. and American Management Corp.

Mrs. Graham donated more than $3,000 to her campaign.

Mr. Ross received a $500 contribution from D.C.-based Leigh & Associates.

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