How much? $500
Who got it? Mayor Ted Wheeler on May 20
Who gave it? This is the unusual part: The donor was his political consultant, Christian Sinderman of the Seattle firm NWP Consulting.
Why is it interesting? Usually, consultants get paid by their clients rather than give money to them. Instead, Sinderman gave the mayor the maximum donation the day after the May primary.
The contribution also draws attention to the struggles of the campaign. Wheeler, who missed averting a runoff by less than a percentage point, has had three campaign managers and struggled with fundraising.
After a court decision this spring upheld campaign finance caps approved by Portland voters in 2018, the City Auditor's Office decided in May that candidates had to abide by a $500-per-donor limit on contributions. Wheeler had opted not to observe such a limit in his previous fundraising, and he also chose not to participate in the city's public campaign financing system. That means his leading opponent, Sarah Iannarone, has raised five times his war chest. Wheeler has reported raising just over $70,000 since the primary; Iannarone has nearly $370,000.
What does the campaign say? "Christian, like many others who support the mayor, simply wanted to contribute to the effort as an individual outside of any work his firm is doing," says Wheeler campaign manager Danny O'Halloran. "We're grateful for his, and all of our donors', support."