Last Dash for Cash in State Senate Primaries

As a chaotic primary season hits its final week, one thing has remained consistent: An exceedingly high number of state Senate seats are up for grabs this year — in the primary and in the general election.

And in the final stages of the primary, money matters. So does the way the candidates are spending their money.

It’s clear from the most recent campaign finance statements, which were due at midnight Friday, that some of the candidates in tough primaries chose to spend a lot of their money before early voting, which began on June 14. Others are holding on to their cash for a final pre-primary push.

Those candidates who are raising a lot of money — or are funding their own campaigns — are spending a tremendous amount on slick literature that is hitting the voters’ mailboxes.

The open-seat Democratic primary in Montgomery County’s 18th District, which Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr. (D) is giving up to run for governor, may prove to be the most expensive primary of them all. There, former eye surgeon Dana Beyer and Del. Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher are slugging it out.

Dana Beyer

Beyer, who is personally wealthy, just dropped an additional $195,000 into her campaign coffers over the past three weeks, and she spent liberally during that period, including $67,000 on mail, $17,000 on media and $95,000 on paid campaign workers. Waldstreicher spent $120,000 during the same period, including $100,000 on mail.

The next most expensive primary is taking place in Prince George’s County’s 23rd District, where Senate Majority Leader Douglas J.J. Peters (D) is fending off a challenge from businessman Timothy Adams.

And after the primaries, get ready for at least half a dozen competitive general election Senate races.

Campaign finance reports covering May 16-June 10

Democratic incumbents targeted in primaries:

District 10 – Baltimore County

Attorney Robert E. Johnson, who is 36 year old, is running an aggressive challenge against 82-year-old Sen. Delores B. Kelley, but she has a significant fundraising edge.

Rob Johnson

Prior $20,272

Total Receipts $100

Total Expenditures $9,201

Cash Balance $11,171

Delores Kelley

Prior $63,540

Total Receipts $9,070

Total Expenditures $29,198

Cash Balance $43,412

District 11 – Baltimore County

Attorney Sheldon Laskin is running an insurgent’s campaign against Senate Judicial Proceedings Chairman Robert A. Zirkin (D), and several progressive groups believe he is making the incumbent sweat despite the dramatic fundraising gap between them. Most political professionals believe Zirkin is fairly secure, but stranger things have happened.

Sheldon Laskin

Prior $28,579

Total Receipts $6,754

Total Expenditures $15,532

Cash Balance $19,800

Robert A. Zirkin

Prior $325,344

Total Receipts $4,220

Total Expenditures $30,975

Cash Balance $298,589

District 23 – Prince George’s County

Senate Majority Leader Douglas J.J. Peters has been a fundraising machine, taking in more than a quarter million dollars for his reelection. But Timothy Adams, a wealthy government contractor, has matched him every step of the way, thanks to $300,000 in loans from his own pocket. Adams spent almost $114,000 in the past three weeks — $77,000 on mail alone.

Tim Adams

Prior $146,128

Total Receipts $8,921

Total Expenditures $113,957

Cash Balance $41,092

Douglas Peters

Prior $133,236

Total Receipts $7,900

Total Expenditures $48,448

Cash Balance $92,687

District 40 – Baltimore City

Del. Antonio L. Hayes and appointed Sen. Barbara A. Robinson are in a tough generational battle. Robinson’s campaign finance report had not been filed online as of Sunday night, 48 hours past the deadline.

Antonio Hayes

Prior Balance $56,599

Total Receipts $39,032

Total Expenditures $41,348

Cash Balance $54,283

Barbara Robinson

Prior Balance $67,299

Total Receipts N/A

Total Expenditures N/A

Cash Balance N/A

District 41 – Baltimore City

Ex-Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks (D) has pleaded guilty to corruption charges and is likely headed to federal prison. But while he has not campaigned actively since resigning from the Senate this spring, his name remains on the ballot for his old seat. Also running are Sen. Jill P. Carter (D), who was appointed to the job a month ago, and educator J.D. Merrill, son-in-law of former Gov. Martin J. O’Malley (D). Will Merrill’s fundraising advantage come into play?

Nathaniel Oaks

Prior $103,709

Total Receipts $0

Total Expenditures $0

Cash Balance $103,709

Jill Carter

Prior Balance $29,921

Total Receipts: $16,008

Total Expenditures: $30,536

Cash Balance: $15,393

J.D. Merrill

Prior $115,212

Total Receipts $31,047

Total Expenditures $75,074

Cash Balance $71,185

District 43 – Baltimore City

This grudge match between Del. Mary L. Washington and Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Chairwoman Joan Carter Conway features two well-funded incumbents, though as chairwoman of the Senate Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, Conway has had more chits to call in. Both have spent roughly the same amount in the past three weeks, though Conway has more for the home stretch.

Mary Washington

Prior $94,054

Total Receipts $19,673

Total Expenditures $41,255

Cash Balance $72,471

Joan Carter Conway

Prior $158,825

Total Receipts $7,350

Total Expenditures $48,998

Cash Balance $117,177

District 44 – Baltimore County and City

Some political pros believe union organizer Aletheia McCaskill’s bid to oust Sen. Shirley Nathan-Pulliam is competitive. But the race is a low-dollar affair, and Nathan-Pulliam, while no stellar fundraiser herself, has an advantage on that score.

Aletheia McCaskill

Prior $10,575

Total Receipts $1,310

Total Expenditures $7,058

Cash Balance $4,827

Shirley Nathan-Pulliam

Prior $36,388

Total Receipts N/A

Total Expenditures N/A

Cash Balance N/A

District 45 – Baltimore City

First-term Del. Cory V. McCray spent 10 times as much on the race as Senate President Pro Tem Nathaniel J. McFadden and has more money on-hand for the home stretch. That may tell you everything you need to know about this race. 

Cory McCray

Prior $70,965

Total Receipts $14,480

Total Expenditures $44,621

Cash Balance $40,823

Nathaniel McFadden

Prior $15,047

Total Receipts $13,160

Total Expenditures $4,663

Cash Balance $23,544

Republican incumbent targeted in the primary:

District 29 – St. Mary’s County

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) has expressed his displeasure with the first-term incumbent senator, Stephen M. Waugh, and endorsed his challenger, former Maryland Natural Resources police officer Jack Bailey. Bailey spent considerably more in the past three weeks, but Waugh has more cash on hand.

Jack Bailey

Prior $32,128

Total Receipts $13,990

Total Expenditures $34,824

Cash Balance $11,293

Steve Waugh

Prior Balance $28,124

Total Receipts $9,846

Total Expenditures $2,809

Cash Balance $35,160

Democratic seats that Republicans are targeting in the general election:

3rd District – Frederick County

Although other candidates are running, including Frederick County Commissioner Billy Shreve (R) and former Frederick Mayor Jennifer P. Dougherty (D), this almost certainly will be a fall showdown between state Sen. Ronald N. Young (D), a veteran officeholder, and businessman Craig Giangrande (R), who owns Burger King franchises. Giangrande has loaned his campaign $56,500 so far.

Ron Young

Prior $66,655

Total Receipts $4,675

Total Expenditures $4,145

Cash Balance $67,185

Craig Giangrande

Prior $101,193

Total Receipts $1,560

Total Expenditures $9,991

Cash Balance $92,762

Billy Shreve

Prior: $4,585

Total Receipts: $1,500

Total Expenditures: $0

Cash Balance: $6,085

District 8 – Baltimore County

This is one of the marquee Senate contests of the cycle. Sen. Katherine Klausmeier (D) has a significant cash advantage over Del. Christian J. Miele (R), though she will need it in a district where Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R) is expected to do very well.

Katherine Klausmeier

Prior $192,780

Total Receipts $13,151

Total Expenditures $4,478

Cash Balance $201,453

Christian Miele

Prior $86,579

Total Receipts $16,128

Total Expenditures $1,038

Cash Balance $101,669

District 30 – Anne Arundel County

Republicans have high hopes of flipping the seat of retiring Sen. John C. Astle (D), and their candidate, former Del. Ronald A. George (R), has a significant cash advantage. However, there is a lot of Democratic energy in the district, and his victory is not a foregone conclusion. Democratic activist Sarah Elfreth seems to be hitting her stride on the fundraising front and is racking up big endorsements. But her nomination isn’t a sure thing: She faces a primary against business consultant and health care activist Chrissy Holt, who is running an insurgent campaign.

Sarah Elfreth

Prior $85,101

Total Receipts $18,339

Total Expenditures $18,653

Cash Balance $85,101

Chrissy Holt 

Prior $20,160

Total Receipts $360

Total Expenditures $8,674

Cash Balance $11,846

Ron George

Prior $178,941

Total Receipts $5,485

Total Expenditures $107

Cash Balance $184,319

District 32 – Anne Arundel County

In the race to replace retiring Sen. James E. DeGrange Sr. (D), Del. Pamela G. Beidle (D) has a huge financial advantage over Anne Arundel County Councilman John J. Grasso (R), who runs unconventional campaigns.

Pamela Beidle

Prior $94,211

Total Receipts $31,322

Total Expenditures $12,643

Cash Balance $112,890

John Grasso

Prior $23,348

Total Receipts $0

Total Expenditures $20

Cash Balance $23,328

District 38 – Lower Shore

Another marquee race and top Republican target, with Sen. James N. Mathias (D) trying to fend off Del. Mary Beth Carozza (R). Mathias is a champion fundraiser with a brand separate and distinct from state and national Democrats. But it may not be enough in a conservative district.

James Mathias

Prior $229,184

Total Receipts $25,910

Total Expenditures $11,035

Cash Balance $244,058

Mary Beth Carozza

Prior $109,657

Total Receipts $3,350

Total Expenditures $2,204

Cash Balance $110,793

District 42 – Baltimore County

With Sen. James Brochin (D) running for county executive, Del. Christopher R. West (R), who loaned his campaign $200,000 earlier in the cycle, is favored to win the seat. The Democratic candidates are housing activist Gretchen Maneval and former Baltimore County Democratic chairman Robert Leonard.

Robbie Leonard

Prior $14,326

Total Receipts $1,810

Total Expenditures $3,629

Cash Balance $12,506

Gretchen Maneval

Prior $78,232

Total Receipts $0

Total Expenditures $3,472

Cash Balance $74,760

Chris West

Prior $217,086

Total Receipts $1,125

Total Expenditures $45,484

Cash Balance $172,727

Competitive open-seat Democratic primaries:

District 12 – Howard and Baltimore counties

The late decision by Senate Budget and Taxation Chairman Edward J. Kasemeyer (D) to retire set up a vigorous primary between first-term Del. Clarence K. Lam and term-limited Howard County Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty. Both have been raising money aggressively, with Lam spending aggressively ahead of early voting and Sigaty hoarding more cash for the final primary push.

Clarence Lam

Prior $70,189

Total Receipts $22,154

Total Expenditures $50,478

Cash Balance $41,864

Mary Kay Sigaty

Prior $55,406

Total Receipts $25,475

Total Expenditures $2,689

Cash Balance $78,191

District 18 – Montgomery County

This hard-fought primary featuring Del. Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher, former eye surgeon and political activist Dana Beyer, and business owner and activist Michelle Carhart, may prove to be the most expensive Senate primary of the cycle.

Dana Beyer

Prior $18,730

Total Receipts $203,647

Total Expenditures $193, 313

Cash Balance $29,063

Michelle Carhart

Prior $67,116

Total Receipts $650

Total Expenditures $1,048

Cash Balance $6,717

Jeff Waldstreicher

Prior $224,998

Total Receipts $2,885

Total Expenditures $120,547

Cash Balance $107,336

District 25 – Prince George’s County

With Sen. Ulysses S. Currie (D) retiring, a three-way race is under way featuring Del. Angela M. Angel, former Del. Melony G. Griffith, and veterinarian Jonathan Rosero, a political unknown who has stoked his bid with $140,000 in loans. Griffith is running on a ticket with the district’s other two House incumbents, Dels. Dereck E. Davis and Darryl Barnes.

Angela Angel

Prior: $45,786

Total Receipts: $5,963

Total Expenditures: $0

Cash Balance: $51,749

Melony Griffith

Prior $42,284

Total Receipts $13,250

Total Expenditures $9,581

Cash Balance $45,952

Jonathan Rosero

Prior $108,476

Total Receipts $25

Total Expenditures $25,434

Cash Balance $83,066

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Josh Kurtz
Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.

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