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Fenty Fundraising: How Much is Too Much?

So Mayor Fenty appears ready to set a new record for local fundraising, having hauled in $2 million for his re-election campaign that still has 1 1/2 years go to. The question is: How much does an incumbent mayor need in a campaign where few serious contenders are expected to challenge him? (Barring an unforeseen mistake by Fenty.)

D.C. Wire posed this question to a few people while reporting today's Metro story about the mayor's campaign war chest.

"You just keep going," said James Hudson, Fenty's campaign chairman who also helped raise money for Barack Obama's presidential bid. "It's like with Barack: You just keep going, and then you develop a momentum behind this."

Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) said the money is bound to dry up at some point. After all, there are only so many people who can afford to give Fenty the $2,000 maximum in a city this small.

"He'll start to run into the mindset that, 'He's already got $2 million with no opponent, so we do not want to give anymore,'" Evans said. "My father-in-law has a saying, 'I do not want to pay for a landslide.'"

Fenty can use the money for campaign signs, literature, a campaign headquarters, staff, television and radio commercials. Don't expect him to stop soliciting cash. Hudson said the mayor will be expanding his on-line fundraising, a la Obama.

How much do you think the mayor will raise by the Sept. 2010 primary? Leave your guess in the comments.

By David A Nakamura  |  February 4, 2009; 12:16 PM ET
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