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DeSantis raised more than mayor since June

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Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007
 

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has three times as much campaign cash as Republican Mark DeSantis, but the GOP mayoral challenger has raised more money since June, according to campaign finance reports released Friday.

DeSantis raised $200,000 in cash and $86,000 in-kind contributions between June 1 and Oct. 22, according to the campaign filing, his first in the mayoral race. Ravenstahl raised $130,700, which he added to $713,580 he had in the bank.

Ravenstahl, 27, of Summer Hill, and DeSantis, 48, of Downtown, will face off in the Nov. 6 general election that will decide who serves the remaining two years of the late Mayor Bob O'Connor's term.

Ravenstahl spokeswoman Danika Wukich said the campaign's fundraising efforts are going strong.

"Overall we've exceeded our fundraising expectation. We're going to continue to raise money to fund our grass-roots campaign efforts," said Wukich, who would not elaborate on the campaign's fundraising goals.

"There's still campaign left, and there's still money coming in," said Mike DeVanney, a DeSantis campaign consultant. "I think this is indicative of the momentum that Mark has created."

DeVanney said DeSantis' fundraising vastly surpasses what any Republican running for mayor in Pittsburgh has been able to accomplish in decades.

Ravenstahl's fundraising efforts totaled $844,283, of which he has spent $295,800. The mayor's largest expense so far has been $145,815 paid to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party for printing and postage in October and $11,374 spent on a fund raiser held at the Omni William Penn Hotel, Downtown.

DeSantis has spent $151,741 so far. The biggest expense, $42,000, has been on advertising. DeSantis has an ending cash balance of $48,800.

DeSantis' major donors include Tim Nettles, vice president of Enterprise Rent-A-Car; FreeMarkets Inc. founder Glen Meakem; Charles Queenan, senior counsel with the Kirkpatrick & Lockhart law firm, Downtown; Christine Olson, a former Republican National Committee member; and Pittsburgh philanthropist Elsie Hillman's Republican Future Fund.

Each gave $10,000.

Former Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton's Grow PA political action committee donated $85,333 worth of in-kind contributions.

Ravenstahl's largest donation came from Pittsburgh developer William Kratsa Jr., who gave $10,000. Other large donations included separate $5,000 gifts from James Malanos and Michael Zappa, owner and chief executive officer, respectively, of Baker Young Real Estate in Sewickley.

Benjamin Simon, CEO of Gordon's Shoes store at The Waterfront mall in Homestead, gave $5,000. Pittsburgh developer James R. Aiello gave $3,000 and ATS-Chester Engineering CEO Robert Agbede gave $2,000, according to campaign records.

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