- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Democrat Muriel Bowser has the upper hand against her opponent in the D.C. mayor’s race, collecting $858,000 during the latest reporting period, according to campaign finance statements.

Ms. Bowser’s campaign took in $740,000 after she bested Mayor Vincent C. Gray in the April 1 Democratic primary. She reported having $720,000 in cash on hand in statements filed late Tuesday.

“Supporters across the District of Columbia, from all eight wards and a wide variety of backgrounds, have come together to seal the deal in November,” Ms. Bowser said in a statement issued Wednesday. “Over one thousand contributors want to see our values and vision for the District in the Mayor’s office.”

David A. Catania, who declared his candidacy in March, raised a respectable $401,000 during that period. Another $146,000 was rolled over from Mr. Catania’s exploratory campaign account, which he launched in December. He reported having $350,000 on hand.

Despite trailing the “establishment candidate,” Catania campaign manager Ben Young said the independent candidate’s effort was “right on pace.”

“We’re in a good spot,” he said, noting that money doesn’t guarantee success at the polls and pointing to former mayor Adrian M. Fenty’s 2010 loss after far outraising Mr. Gray as one such example.

Carol Schwartz, a former Republican D.C. Council member who switched affiliation to independent, announced her intention to run on Monday. She has yet to start raising money and did not file a report.

The returns were on par with what political observers expected from the reports.

“It didn’t do anything to change the state of the race. Bowser continues to be the frontrunner but Catania is nipping at her heels and is mounting a serious effort to achieve an unprecedented victory,” said Chuck Thies, who managed Mr. Gray’s derailed re-election bid.

Among some of the notable details from the finance statements, Ms. Bowser’s campaign reported collecting more than $211,000 on Tuesday alone. Mr. Catania’s campaign collected $42,000 on Tuesday.

The use of limited liability companies to donate to candidates skewed heavily in Ms. Bowser’s favor. She collected 135 separate donations from LLCs during the reporting period. Mr. Catania took in far fewer, accepting money from 13 such businesses.

Donations from LLCs have been a source of consternation among those who would like to reform campaign finance laws. The D.C. Council adopted a law last year that bans candidates from accepting money from LLCs, but the measure will not take effect until January, after the election cycle ends.

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