- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 11, 2014

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray leads the pack of mayoral contenders with the most money in the bank leading up to the April 1 primary election, a boon given the uphill battle he is likely to face amid corruption allegations leveled against him Monday.

Mr. Gray reported having more than $710,000 on hand currently and raising more than $1.1 million thus far during the campaign, according to campaign finance reports filed Monday night.

“I am thankful to all the people who are supporting our campaign,” said Mr. Gray in a email statement issued by his campaign. “By working together we can overcome any challenge and uplift every District resident.”

The toughest challenge he might now face in the final three weeks before the Democratic primary is to alleviate voters’ concerns about the corrupt practices of his 2010 campaign that are under renewed scrutiny after Jeffrey E. Thompson pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy charges involving the campaign.

Thompson not only admitted financing a $668,800 off-the-books campaign on behalf of the mayor, but he also told prosecutors that Mr. Gray knew full well that the donations were being made illegally.

Mr. Gray, who has not been charged with a crime, called the allegations “lies.”
But the mayor is sure to come under fire from the seven other Democratic contenders, only two of whom have raised comparable war chests.

D.C. Council member Muriel Bowser of Ward 4 has raised $1.27 million over the course of her campaign, while D.C. Council member Jack Evans of Ward 2 has raised the most overall with $1.36 million. Ms. Bowser currently has the most money on hand after Mr. Gray, with more than $694,000 in the bank. She spent close to $290,000 over the last reporting period, which stretched from Feb. 1 through midnight Monday.

Mr. Evans outspent every other candidate during the reporting period, spending more than $373,000, more than $200,000 of which was for printing and another $30,000 on advertising costs.

D.C. Council member Tommy Wells, who is not accepting corporate contributions for his bid, has just under $69,000 on hand of the $570,000 his campaign has raised. Mr. Wells of Ward 6 spent $160,000 during the last reporting period and brought in about $57,000 in donations.

Other contenders have far less cash on hand. At-large D.C. Council member Vincent B. Orange has just $18,000 on hand and former State Department official Reta Jo Lewis reports having $34,000.

A report was not available from businessman Andy Shallal.

Carlos Allen reported having $135 in cash on hand.

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