Evans raises second-most among D.C. mayor hopefuls

The mayoral campaign for Jack Evans, a Council member whose constituency includes Foggy Bottom, reported raising more than $350,000 as of July 31. Hatchet File Photo

Foggy Bottom’s D.C. Council member has pulled in more than $377,000 in his bid for mayor so far – the second most among the half-dozen candidates.

Jack Evans’s campaign haul comes just behind that of Muriel Bowser, another D.C. Council member, who raised $465,200, according to financial disclosure forms released this week. Combined, their fundraising makes up 85 percent of the $1 million raised so far for mayor’s race.

Evans, the city’s longest-serving council member who also ran for mayor in 1998, far outpaced the other candidates’ campaign costs.

He spent $72,000 since announcing his candidacy in June – nearly double what Bowser has shelled out for her campaign so far. Among his expenditures is $20,000 in rent for a 14 Street office.

Legal and real estate companies in Georgetown – where Evans lives – contributed the bulk of his fundraising. He also tapped into deep-pocketed donors such as owners and executives of the Baltimore Orioles, the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals.

The average amount donated to Evans was $866, far exceeding the other candidates’.

Evans said he was “very pleased” with his fundraising so far.

“We have received a very wide-range of support, from every ward, individuals as well as business,” Evans, 59, said in a phone interview Friday.

Former University President Stephen Joel Trachtenberg – who worked with Evans for 15 years – gave $100.

The election cycle fundraising pales to the 2012 race, with former Mayor Adrian Fenty bringing in more than $3.5 million eight months before the primary. Vincent Gray, the current mayor, entered the race about two months later and raised $561,000 within three months.

About seven months remain until the Democratic primary, slated for April 1. Gray, an alumnus whose 2010 campaign is under federal investigation, has not yet announced if he will run for reelection.

Tommy Wells, another D.C. Council candidate, the third-most in the race with $268,108, and has accepted only donations from individuals.

A former State Department official, Reta Jo Lewis trailed behind the Council members with $75,283. Nestor Djonkam, in his third attempt at the mayor’s position, reported receiving a single $25 check from himself. Business executive Christian Carter, who jumped into the race last month, received a filing extension to Aug. 12.

Evans said the next few months would be a period of “constant fundraising.”

This week, he secured a win with a union endorsement for supporting the council’s controversial “living wage” bill, that would require large retailers to pay employees at least $12.50 an hour, compared to the District’s current minimum wage of $8.25.

Wal-mart, one of the retailers affected by the bill, has threatened to scrap plans to open stores in the city. But Evans said the legislation could serve as an example for the rest of the nation.

“The bill is just the start of things. People need to get the city to recognize the cost of living in the District,” Evans said.

Bowser and Wells both voted against the bill in a Council meeting in July, though the bill passed 8-5 and now waits on Gray’s desk. Bowser’s campaign reported that a Rockville-based developer of a Wal-Mart store in Ward 4 gave $2,000 to her effort.

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