How do you effectively challenge a powerful incumbent? Step one is convincing people you can raise the money necessary for a legitimate bid.
Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto's mayoral campaign announced this morning that its $330K in receipts is "a record-setting amount." For a challenger that is. His campaign says that's more than then-councilman Bob O'Connor had at the same time in 2001. We don't know how much cash he had left at the end of year, though, because the campaign blacked that out (see below).
From a Peduto press release:
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh City Councilman Bill Peduto today released the cover page (see attached) of his 2012 end-of-year finance report and announced that in just three months, he has raised a total of $329,671.38.
The end-of-year total breaks former Mayor Bob O'Connor's 2001 record of $279,623 for most money raised at this point in a Democratic Primary by a Pittsburgh Mayoral challenger.
Peduto's record-setting amount of $329,671.38 was raised in just three months while complying with the strict contribution limits for individual donors from the City of Pittsburgh's 2009 Campaign Finance Law. Over 700 individuals have donated to the campaign. Of those donations, nearly 250 people made contributions of less than $50. The financial contributions demonstrate significant grassroots support for Councilman Peduto's candidacy.
The Peduto team would like to be like O'Connor 2001 in taking on Mayor Luke Ravenstahl: that was the year he came within 699 votes of ousting Mayor Tom Murphy. And Peduto got his money with the yolk of new fundraising limits that weren't in place back then. O'Connor arguably was better known to voters than Peduto after taking on Murphy in 1997 too, and was riding a wave of anger in 2001 at the stadium-financing plan Murphy had piloted.