St. Paul mayoral candidate Dai Thao has raised more than $142,000 during the most recent campaign finance reporting period, trailing rival Pat Harris but outpacing Melvin Carter over that time, according to a report filed by his campaign.
While the report shows that Thao, who represents the First Ward on the City Council, has not raised as much as Harris and Carter overall, he rivals them in cash on hand with more than $97,000 eight weeks before the election. Harris has $119,297 cash on hand; Carter has $52,643.
In total, Thao has raised more than $171,000 — more than $80,000 less than what Harris and Carter have each raised. Thao, Carter and Harris have raised far more than other mayoral candidates.
Elizabeth Dickinson has raised $15,744 since she entered the race in February, many of them small donations, according to an updated report. Former St. Paul school board member Tom Goldstein reported $19,954 in contributions, about half of which he loaned to his campaign. Other candidates for mayor, most of whom recently joined the race, reported no donations or had not yet submitted reports.
Many of Thao’s contributions came from donors with Hmong surnames — in Minnesota and from as far away as California. Thao, who as a child came to America with his family from a refugee camp in Thailand, is attempting to become the first Hmong mayor in St. Paul’s history, and among the first Hmong mayors in the U.S.
Thao got the second-most amount of support at the city’s DFL Party convention this summer, behind Carter and ahead of Harris.