Ravenstahl's pile of campaign cash much larger than rivals'

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With 11 days to go before the General Election, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has a comfortable lead over his rivals in the race for campaign funds, according to campaign finance reports filed today.

From June 9 through Monday, Democrat Mr. Ravenstahl's campaign raised $127,496 and spent $143,466. But because the campaign started the period with a substantial war chest, it still had $312,437 in the bank at the end of the period.

Independent Kevin Acklin raised $135,290, spent $130,923, and had $51,828 left in the bank. Independent Franco Dok Harris raised $113,611, spent $176,761, and had $27,704 left.

Mr. Ravenstahl's biggest contributors were the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 Political Action Committee, giving $11,000; International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 5 PAC, donating $25,000; and executives from Chester Engineers, giving $10,100.

Mr. Ravenstahl's campaign also disclosed contributions totaling $10,000 on Oct. 20 from executives of Burns & Scalo Real Estate.

Mr. Acklin's campaign got $9,785 from nurse R. Candace Acklin, his mother; and $5,000 each from businessman Ronald Muhlenkamp, retired U.S. Steel executive Tom Usher, and Acusis Medical Transcription CEO William Benter.

Mr. Harris accepted no checks larger than $2,400, and got that amount from Nadine Bognar of Bognar and Co., retiree Mel Clipper, and graduate student Thomas Medvitz.

Mr. Harris personally turned in his reports to the Allegheny County Elections Division office, Downtown.

He said having self-imposed limits on contributions may have helped his fundraising.

"I think it actually excited people," he said. "People got really fired up about the opportunity to have a person Downtown who's not for sale."

He said his campaign will be able to continue airing cable TV and radio ads for the remainder of the campaign, and has a 20-person staff.


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