Bevan Dufty Abandons Self-Imposed Contribution Limit for Mayoral Race
Instead, he will raise money like the rest of the growing candidate pool: By accepting $500 per donor, the maximum allowable campaign contribution.
He's already started circling back through old donors to ask them if they will kick in some more cash to help out his beleaguered campaign.
The logic is rather obvious: Dufty has been burning through cash ever since he launched his campaign more than two years ago. At the time, he had said he would not accept checks bigger than $200, which is why he decided to start early.
But that hasn't exactly worked in his favor. As of Dec. 31, 2010, Dufty had raised $108,305 for his campaign, yet he claims to date he has raised $225,000. Still, that's compared to a less recognizable name like Joana Rees, who has managed to rake in more than $150,000 in the four months of her candidacy.
"I have 1,750 contributors and it hasn't made a blip on the screen," Dufty tells SF Weekly.
The new strategy -- which Duty announced at his 56th birthday party Monday night -- isn't just about getting more money from contributors, it's also about expanding his donor circle. Along with the contribution cap, Dufty had pledged to only take money from people who live and work in San Francisco -- which he now admits is idealistic if he wants to be a serious candidate.
Dufty wasted no time backing away from that; he is already seeking the endorsement and financial support from the Victory Fund, a national gay and lesbian organization that works to elect LGBT leaders, including Annise Parker, the first openly gay mayor elected in Houston, Tx.
"Most other people are raising money elsewhere and they are raising significant money in Sacramento," Dufty said.
Dufty's consultants believe this shift will significantly alter the course of his campaign, giving him a fighting chance to be San Francisco's next mayor.
"If he is going to compete with seven other candidates, he needs to play by the same rules as everyone else," said Michael Terris, Dufty's new campaign strategist.
Dufty's announcement came the same day Supervisor David Chiu upped the ante and announced he, too, would be running for San Francisco mayor. A few hours later, Supervisor Scott Wiener, Dufty's successor, told reporters he would endorse City Attorney Dennis Herrera, not Dufty, in the race.
So as anyone can see, the stakes in this race are high, even for an esteemed political fixture like Dufty. Yet with his new "Bevan 2.0" campaign as he calls it, Dufty assures SF Weekly his financials will turn around.
"Call me a month from now, and I think it will be pretty strong," Dufty said.
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