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WAMU: Candidates Taking On D.C. Incumbents Say New Public Financing Program Is A Game-Changer

“When Janeese Lewis George announced earlier this month that she would challenge D.C. Council member Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) in next June’s Democratic primary, she knew she would face an uphill battle. According to his first campaign finance filing, Todd, a prodigious fundraiser and two-time incumbent, took in $180,000 in two months.

But George, a former assistant D.C. attorney general, now has a way to catch up: public money. This is the first election cycle since the D.C. Council approved a new program that offers public funds to candidates for office who swear off big-dollar contributions. Once a candidate qualifies for the Fair Elections Program, every $50 contribution from a D.C. resident is matched with $250 in public funds.

For George, public financing could turn an initial haul of $5,000 from 150 D.C. residents into more than $65,000 in matching funds, plus a $20,000 base payment for qualifying for the program.

“Fair Elections is allowing for more candidates who are representative of the city and from all different backgrounds to have a fighting chance,” George says. “Shirley Chisholm said, ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.’ And I think Fair Elections gives more people the opportunity to bring a folding chair to the table.”

“Fair Elections is allowing for more candidates who are representative of the city and from all different backgrounds to have a fighting chance,” George says. “Shirley Chisholm said, ‘If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.’ And I think Fair Elections gives more people the opportunity to bring a folding chair to the table.”

Read the full article in WAMU

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Janeese Lewis George, PO Box 56667, Washington, DC 20040, Latifa Lyles, Treasurer. A copy of our report is filed with the Director of Campaign Finance of the District of Columbia Board of Elections.

I'm Janeese Lewis George and I'm running for DC Council Ward 4