Although the City of Philadelphia mayoral campaign has become the most expensive race in the country at nearly $31 million, the chase for the Democratic nod for Allegheny County Executive is also opening eyes.
The four candidates for the position – County Treasurer John Weinstein, Rep. Sara Innamorato, City Controller Michael Lamb and attorney Dave Fawcett – combined to raise $3.45 million.
Weinstein pulled in $1.353 million in the period leading up to the first Friday in May, including more than $500,000 from political committees – a $100,000 donation on behalf of the Steamfitters Local 449 and $50,000 gifts from committees for the Mid-Atlantic Laborers’ Political League, the Western Pennsylvania Laborers and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry. His filing was made official late Monday afternoon – three days past the Friday filing deadline, due to what the campaign called “a technological failure.”
Innamorato raised $842,705 during the timeframe, including $300,000 from service worker unions and another $69,000 from small-money donors who contributed $250 or less to her campaign. She also received donations from the political committees of U.S. Rep. Summer Lee (D-17) and Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey of $15,000 and $14,000, respectively. Innamorato also reported having over $225,000 cash on hand for the stretch run – more than her opposition.
Lamb pulled in $628,000, including a $75,000 boost from term-limited current ACE Rich Fitzgerald, while also chipping in $77,000 of his own funds to his campaign. He has $111,265 on hand for the final week.
Fawcett provided $350,000 of his own money into his campaign, lifting his fundraising haul to $630,000. Since December, the attorney has put $500,000 from his own coffers into his run for office. Fawcett maintains a war chest of nearly $150,000.
The lone GOP candidate for the position – Joe Rockey – reported raising $209,347 during the period with nearly half of that total coming from a $100,000 loan he provided.
The other two Democratic candidates – former Pittsburgh Public Schools board member Theresa Colaizzi and businessman Will Parker – reported minimal if any funds being raised. Colaizzi reported raising just $100, and Parker said he is funding his own campaign and is not accepting donations.
The increase in expenditures in all Allegheny County races has drawn the attention of at least one county councilman to curb the runaway train.
Councilman Tom Duerr has proposed a contribution limit that would mirror federal and City of Pittsburgh restrictions, which currently limit individuals to donating $3,300 to a candidate per election, and limit PACs to $5,000.
The proposal could come up for a vote at the end of the month, but faces a probable veto from Fitzgerald that would require two-thirds of the county council (10 of 15) to override.