February 5, 2010 at 1:22 pm EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Catania files for re-election as Ray, Mendelson compete for funds

Gay D.C. Council member David Catania (I-At Large) has filed papers with the city’s Office of Campaign Finance announcing his candidacy for re-election, ending speculation that he was thinking about leaving politics to practice law.

With the exception of Council Chair Vincent Gray (D-At Large), who is considering running for mayor rather seeking re-election to the Council, Catania became the last incumbent Council member to file for re-election. He filed his papers Jan. 21.

According to records released Monday by the Office of Campaign Finance, he raised $33,750 between Jan. 20 and Jan. 31, the end of the most recent campaign finance reporting period. Under the city’s campaign finance law, unannounced candidates can’t begin raising money more than five days before they formally register their campaigns with the campaign finance office.

Campaign finance records for Catania’s only known opponent for the at-large seat reserved for non-Democrats, Rev. Anthony Motley, could not immediately be obtained.

Gay Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who filed his re-election papers with the finance office Sept. 28, reported raising $171,391 between Oct. 1 and Jan. 27, records show. Graham’s campaign spent $8,611, leaving him with $162,780 in cash on hand as of Jan. 31.

Gay Democrat Clark Ray, who is challenging incumbent Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At Large) in the Democratic primary, reported raising $65,383 between Aug. 1 and Jan. 31, records show. He obtained a loan of $15,000, bringing his total campaign receipts so far to $80,382. Ray filed papers declaring his candidacy on Aug. 27.

Mendelson reported raising $60,250 for the same six-month period, records show. Mendelson raised $70,606 in a prior reporting period, bringing his total money raised to $130,856. He filed papers July 9 declaring his candidacy.

Records show that Mendelson spent just $816, leaving him with $130,040 in cash on hand as of Jan. 31. By the same date, Ray had spent $38,314, leaving him with $42,068 in cash on hand.

Peter Rosenstein, a Ray campaign adviser, said the campaign used the $38,314 to buy yard signs, posters and to pay for his web site, among other things.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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