Kenney heads to office with big money in the bank
Mayor-elect Jim Kenney will assume office in January with a hefty chunk of change in his pocket. According to his most recent campaign finance report, he walked away from his landslide election victory last month with over $530,000 to his name.
Between Oct. 20 and Nov. 23, the former city councilman’s campaign actually accrued more than it spent.
There was little doubt before the Nov. 3 general election that Kenney would nab the seat, and he didn’t need to purchase expensive primetime TV spots like he did in the primary. His campaign nonetheless spent $300,000 during the two weeks before and after election day. But in that same period, it received $350,000 in contributions.
It is worth noting that a lot of that dough rolled in after Kenney had already won.
Since Nov 2., the Kenney war chest gained about $50,000 from political committees and powerful unions. Large-contributions from individuals added over $53,000 to the pile in that same period, with many contributing the maximum amount allowed by law in the weeks after Kenney's election.
Of course, the mayor-elect still has a lot of expenses to cover before his replaces Mayor Michael Nutter next month.
His campaign team didn’t just shut down the operation after election night. Many of them have been involved with Kenney’s labor-intensive transition process into office, which runs up a tab in its own right. Kenney’s spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said that, because of a change in the rules, the money for the transition process now comes out of the campaign fund. For this reason, they continued to heavily fundraise well after election night.
“The rules recently changed regarding fundraising for transition and inaugural costs,” Hitt told AL DÍA in an email Friday. “While past mayoral transition teams have been able to set up a 501c3 to cover those expenses, we now have to pay for transition staff, vetting and candidate search services, inaugural events, etc. from our campaign committee.”
Though not operating as a “campaign” anymore, the transition team is still beholden to campaign finance fundraising limits, which cap individual donations at $2,900 and committees at $11,500.