Gay D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner John Fanning came in fourth place in the money he raised for his campaign for the Ward 2 D.C. Council seat in the June 2020 Democratic primary, according to his Aug. 29 campaign finance report.
Fanning, 56, who has worked on the staffs of five D.C. mayors and who currently serves as chair of the Logan Circle ANC, is one of five Democrats running for the seat held by incumbent Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans, who has yet to say whether he will run for re-election.
Evans was considered unbeatable as the Council’s longest-serving member until news surfaced last year that he was under investigation by a federal grand jury for allegations that he used his Council office and his status as chair of the Metro Board to advance his private law practice in which he represented companies that do business with the city.
Evans has denied engaging in any illegal actions and told supporters earlier this year that he planned to run for re-election. However, he has yet to file for re-election with the city’s Office of Campaign Finance.
Fanning, meanwhile, has said he expects to raise sufficient funds to wage a strong campaign for the Council seat. He said the three candidates ahead of him in fundraising started their campaigns before he did.
All five candidates, including Fanning, have entered a new D.C. election public financing program in which they become eligible for matching campaign funds if they meet various requirements and limitations on individual contributions. The requirements include a maximum contribution of $50 from any individual donor and a ban on receiving corporate contributions.
All four of Fanning’s opponents have expressed strong support for LGBT rights and have reached out to LGBT voters.
The campaign finance reports filed by the candidates on Aug. 30, including some who submitted amended reports after Aug. 30, show the total amount each had raised as of that date and the total number of individual contributors that have given money to the candidates, among other information.
Jordan Grossman, the candidate leading the pack in fundraising, exceeded the limit on contributions from himself or immediate family members, according to Office of Campaign Finance Director Wesley Williams. Williams said Grossman had to return the funds that exceed that limit, but the reduced amount would be reported in the next campaign finance report, not the one filed on Aug. 30.
He said the total “aggregate” amount allowed from the candidate and immediate family members for a D.C. Council race is $2,500.
Following are the five candidates’ fundraising information as reported in their Aug. 30 reports:
• Jordan Grossman, former congressional staffer and community activist: $36,918 raised from 621 individual donors ($10,216 from himself or immediate family members)
• Kishan Putta, Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner: $12,635 raised from 347 individual donors ($0 from himself or individual family members)
• Patrick Kennedy, Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner: $11,026 raised from 259 individual donors ($1,517 from himself or immediate family members)
• John Fanning, Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner: $7,625 raised from 188 individual donors ($220 from himself or immediate family members)
• Daniel Hernandez, Ward 2 community activist: $3,114 raised from 19 individual donors ($2,384 from himself or immediate family members)
Keith C. Ivey, editor and publisher of the local political blog dcgeekery.com, calculated the amount of public funding the five candidates could be eligible to receive from the D.C. government based on a complicated formula linked to the money they have raised so far and the number of individual contributions they received from D.C. residents.
Following is Ivey’s calculation of the expected D.C. “matching” funds for each of the candidates: Grossman: $166,098; Putta: $98,100; Kennedy: $96,271; Fanning: $81,800; Hernandez: $3,114.