By Josh Kurtz
Fresh off the General Assembly session – and its 90-day ban on state officials raising money – Gov. Larry Hogan (R) is about to embark on an ambitious schedule of fundraisers as the 2018 election cycle cranks up.
According to political calendars obtained by Maryland Matters, Hogan has at least 22 fundraisers scheduled for his re-election between next week and November. He also has several appearances set at GOP events that will indirectly help his campaign.
Already Hogan has a wide lead over his potential Democratic challengers on the fundraising front. As of mid-January, he had more than $4.5 million in his campaign account after raising more than $3.9 million between January 2016 and January 2017.
By contrast, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz had the biggest war chest of the eight possible Democratic candidates for governor, $1.6 million – though another potential challenger, Rep. John Delaney, is one of the wealthiest members of Congress and could easily match Hogan’s financial firepower.
The Hogan fundraisers begin on May 11 with an event at The Inn at Roop’s Mill in Westminster, hosted by Jack and Kathy Cugle, who own the Roop’s Mill property; David and Wendy Johansson, who are also Carroll County restaurateurs; and the four Republican state lawmakers who represents District 5: Sen. Justin Ready and Dels. Susan Krebs, April Rose and Haven Shoemaker. Tickets cost $250 per couple for the main event and $1,000 per couple for a VIP reception.
Hogan will travel to every corner of the state to raise money in the weeks that follow. Among the highlights:
***A fundraiser on the afternoon of May 24 to watch the Navy’s Blue Angels fly over Annapolis. Tickets start at $250 and couples can pay $2,500 for a VIP reception.
***A $1,000-a-ticket reception at the Manor Country Club in Rockville on the evening of June 6.
***A $1,000-a-ticket evening reception at the Annapolis waterfront home of restaurateur Willy Koutroumpis on June 15. VIP tickets are $2,500, and it costs $5,000 to be an event sponsor.
***Two events on June 25 – an afternoon reception at Frog Pond Christmas Tree Farm in Preston and an evening paddleboat ride and dinner at the Suicide Bridge Restaurant in Hurlock. The dinner and boat ride costs $1,000 per couple.
***A reception at Seacrets in Ocean City on June 26, during the week of the Maryland Municipal League summer conference.
***The governor’s sixth annual pig roast at the Cavey Compound in Hamstead on Aug. 5.
***A $500-a-ticket reception at the Clarion Resort Fountainbleu Hotel in Ocean City on Aug. 17, coinciding with the annual Maryland Association of Counties annual summer convention. A VIP reception costs $4,000 per couple.
***A $500-per-couple evening reception at the home of construction company owner Brian Mattingly on Aug. 22 in Woodbine. VIP tickets are $1,000 per couple.
***A reception hosted by four regional chapters of the Associated Builders & Contractors at Homestead Gardens in Davidsonville on the evening of Aug. 29.
***A reception on Oct. 5 at the home of Maryland Horse Breeders Association President Willie White in Clarksville.
***The governor’s annual gala on the evening of Nov. 30 in Baltimore.
Beyond these and other fundraising events, Hogan is scheduled to speak at the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee Lincoln Reagan spring dinner on May 10 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds; be on hand at the Republican Governors Association hospitality tent during the Preakness at Pimlico Race Course on May 20; headline a fundraiser for Baltimore County Del. Christian Miele (R) on June 8, at which Miele is expected to announce his plans to challenge state Sen. Kathy Klausmeier (D); and be the featured speaker at the Maryland Republican Party’s annual Red, White and Blue Dinner at the Marriott BWI Airport on June 14.