While U.S. Rep. Ahn “Joseph” Cao still holds a slight fundraising lead in his bid for a second term, state Rep. Cedric Richmond has nearly as much to spend as Cao in this year's race for the New Orleans-based seat in Congress.
Uptown donors have contributed more than $25,000 to the Congressional race since 2009, campaign finance records show.
Richmond must first face colleague state Rep. Juan LaFonta in the Aug. 28 Democratic primary. The winner faces Cao on Nov. 2.
According to the Federal Election Commission reports through March 31:
- Cao, who has no Republican primary opponent, had $309,136 in his campaign account. His $1.26 million in contributions dwarfed the money the Democrats have raised, but Cao has spent $959,230 – much of it on direct mail to voters.
- Richmond, who represents eastern New Orleans in the state House of Representatives, had $278,822 in hand, only about $30,000 less than Cao. He had raised a total of $400,000 and spent $127,628.
- LaFonta, whose House district covers the Seventh Ward and the Marigny Triangle, had $54,521 left to spend. His total fundraising had yet to reach above $200,000, but he spent $132,051 – slightly more than Richmond.
Donations from the central Uptown (using the 70115 ZIP code, which runs from Claiborne to the river roughly between Washington Avenue and State Street) also slightly favored Cao, but were nearly tied between Richmond and LaFonta.
Cao has raised at least $11,000 from nearly 30 central Uptown donors in this cycle. At the top of the list is $3,450 from some seven employees of a company called Best Efforts, led by Frances Fayard and Stephanie Haynes with $1,000 each. Fayard's and Haynes' names are both among the “Women of the Storm” group that traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for hurricane protection in 2006. The Best Efforts contributions were followed by $1,500 from Bret Clesi, the “Honorary Consul of Albania to Louisiana” and managing director of Sigma Consulting Group, and $1,000 from retiree Dick Piner. A $500 contribution from Haynes is the only contribution from 70115 in the first quarter of 2010.
Richmond raised $7,600 from about a dozen donors in the central Uptown. James Eaton gave $2,400, attorney Sharonda Williams gave $1,750, and William Goldring of Republic Beverage Company and Constantine Nicoladis of NY Associates each gave $1,000. His only donation from the Uptown in 2010 was $100 from attorney Ryan McCabe.
A half dozen central Uptown donors gave LaFonta $7,550, led by attorney Gladstone Jones and Mahoney's Po-Boy Shop co-owner Art Murray, who each gave $2,400.