City Hall

Latest Mayor's Race Fundraising Numbers

In the latest mayoral fundraising numbers, Tim Burgess and Bruce Harrell lead the pack, and incumbent Mike McGinn comes in fourth.

By Erica C. Barnett April 11, 2013

The fundraising numbers for this year's hotly contested mayoral race are in, and of all the mayoral candidates, City Council member Bruce Harrell narrowly leads the pack with $29,575 raised in March, closely followed by council member Tim Burgess, who raised $29,105. Mayor Mike McGinn, who raised $22,015, came in fourth after first-time candidate Charlie Staadacker, who raised $22,360.

Senator Ed Murray (D-43) is barred from fundraising during the ongoing legislative session, although he isn't barred from spending (which he did, as you'll see in a moment). 

Here's how candidate fundraising added up in March: 

Bruce Harrell: $29,575

Tim Burgess: $29,105

Charlie Staadecker: $22,360

Mike McGinn: $22,015

Peter Steinbrueck: $10,385

Kate Martin: $1,750. 

It's also worth looking at how much the candidates have raised so far, total. By that metric, Burgess is far and away in the lead, with $194,558 total raised, followed by McGinn with $153,781 and Staadecker with $132,125. By this standard, Harrell, who raised the most in March, falls to fifth place in overall fundraising, and Murray's position jumps to fourth.

Here's how much the candidates have raised overall: 

Tim Burgess: $194,558

Mike McGinn: $153,781

Charlie Staadecker: $132,125

Ed Murray: $117,429

Bruce Harrell: $78,473

Peter Steinbrueck: $44,299

Kate Martin: $2,946

Trend lines are also important: Is a candidate raising more money or less per month as time goes on? By that metric, Burgess and Harrell are relatively stable, raising slightly less in March than they did in February; however, since campaigns tend to raise steadily more each month leading up to an election, you might expect those numbers to be higher.

Although Harrell raised just $10,818 in January, he didn't declare he was running until the middle of the month. And Burgess had a particularly good December, raising $75,062 that month. McGinn had a much better March than any prior month, raising nearly double his February total, for example, of $11,362. And Steinbrueck has had numbers all over the place, from $13,750 in January to $16,636 in February to this month's $10,385.

Another important factor is how much candidates have on hand, which is affected by spending, or the candidate's "burn rate." If you're spending more than you take in, it doesn't really matter how much you've raised—a high ongoing burn rate can eat away at the biggest campaign bank account.

For example, Tim Burgess has the most in the bank—$86,105—but he spent $55,308 in March, most of it to pay back nearly $35,000 in debt to a national polling firm. McGinn had $73,564 in the bank, but he spent a mere $5,429, making him the thriftiest of the major candidates. Murray is an interesting case because he can't raise money, but still spent $9,941, leaving him with $66,997 in the bank. 

Here's how the candidates stacked up on money in the bank and expenditures: 

Tim Burgess: $86,105 on hand, $55,308 spent. (Notable expenditure: $34,500 to the Mellman Group, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm). 

Mike McGinn: $73,564 on hand, $5,429 spent. (Notable expenditure: $4,500 to consulting firm WinPower Strategies, which made up most of the campaign's March spending). 

Ed Murray: $66,997 on hand, $9,941 spent. (Notable expenditure: $8,500 to three different consultants, despite the fact that Murray is not actively campaigning and can't raise money).

Charlie Staadecker: $65,900 on hand, $16,655 spent. (Notable expenditures: $7,572 to fundraising consultant Colby Underwood and $4,014 to campaign consultant Peter Hester. If Staadecker keeps spending nearly $12,000 a month on consultants, he'll have to keep raising serious money—a challenge for an unknown first-time candidate.)

Peter Steinbrueck: $30,405 on hand, $5,835 spent. (Notable expenditure: $3,204 to consultant Cathy Allen, widely regarded as the most expensive consultant in the city.)

Kate Martin: $1,675 on hand, $513 spent. (Notable expenditures: $60 on buttons.)

Finally, some notable contributions: 

Tim Burgess got $1,400 from local investor Nick Hanauer and his wife; Hanauer, like Burgess, supports education reform. He also got $700 from the Chihulys.

Mike McGinn also got $700 from the Chihulys, plus $100 from Tim Hatley, a local consultant who supported former mayor Greg Nickels in 2009. 

Seriously hedging their bets, the Chihulys also gave $700 to Charlie Staadecker, who also received $100 from Pat Fearey, founder of the Fearey Group, a powerful PR firm. 

Developer Kevin Daniels, who also contributed $500 to Peter Steinbrueck, gave $500 to Bruce  Harrell; local arts commentator and "Almost Live" alum Nancy Guppy and her husband gave Harrell $100.

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