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Muriel Bowser Reports Big Lead in Mayoral Campaign Fundraising

David Catania reported raising $553,000 since March 1. Bowser hauled in a lot more.
Photograph via Shutterstock.

A candidate’s initial fundraising report is a good test of a campaign’s viability, and judging from the $553,000 he has raised for his mayoral bid, according to reports made public last night, DC Council member David Catania seems legit.

But there’s legit, and there’s established. Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser raked in nearly $869,000 over roughly the same period, and has accumulated a war chest twice as large as Catania’s.

Here’s how Bowser and Catania’s financials look:

Bowser: $858,643 raised; $720,323 on hand

Bowser has more than recovered her cash reserves after spending furiously to bump off Mayor Vince Gray in a crowded April 1 Democratic primary, including $100 election-day payments to hundreds of canvassers listed as “consultants.” Of the $858,643 she reported, Bowser pulled in $740,820 of it since the primary. She has also not spent much, consistent with her strategy of ignoring Catania until the general election ballot is set in August. Since winning the nomination, she’s been able to draw on the support of the national Democratic Party. One of her first contacts after the primary was Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Catania: $553,358 raised; $350,707 on hand

With Bowser planning to avoid engaging with him until fall, Catania, who declared his candidacy March 12, has been spending heavily get his campaigng up and running and to plaster the town with light-blue signs bearing his name. About 27 percent of Catania’s fundraising total came from the $146,865 he transferred from an exploratory committee formed last December.

Catania’s campaign manager, Ben Young, says he is not surprised to see Bowser so far ahead in the money game.

“She will have more money,” he says. “The establishment candidate always will.”

Young is also unfazed by Carol Schwartz’s sudden entry into the race, saying that Schwartz, who left the Council in 2009, will be unfamiliar to the city’s voters, about one-quarter of whom have registered in the past five years.

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Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.