Biggest Democratic War Chests Aren’t at the Top of the Ticket

A 24-1 edge in cash on hand? That’s a nice cushion for Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) over his Democratic challenger, Benjamin T. Jealous. But it’s peanuts compared to the 5,369-1 financial edge that Hogan’s buddy, state Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) has over his Republican challenger, Anjali Reed Phukan.   State Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) continues to vacuum up campaign cash.  Franchot, not the Democrat at the top of the ticket, Jealous, has the most robust war chest of Democrats running for statewide office. He reported $1,530,150 on hand as of Aug. 21 after raising $49,777 over the previous two months. Phukan, an accountant, had $285 in her campaign account at the time. State Attorney General Brian E. Frosh had the Democrats’ second biggest bank account. Through Aug. 21, he was sitting on $1,253,066 after collecting $244,178 in the previous two months. Frosh has an aggressive Republican challenger this year in Craig Wolf, a former trade association leader and one-time prosecutor who has accused the incumbent of being more focused on challenging Trump administration policies in federal court than on protecting Marylanders at home. Craig reported $160,308 on hand after raising $144,092 between June 11 and Aug. 21. Last week, Wolf got a key endorsement from the Maryland Fraternal Order of Police, which backed Frosh when he was first elected in 2014. The announcement buttressed Wolf’s criticism of the incumbent.

“No sitting Attorney General — assuming he does his job — should lose the support of law enforcement in his first term. But that’s the problem — Brian Frosh is focused on partisan politics in Washington, when he should be focused on the public safety issues right here in our state,” Wolf said.

“The men and women of law enforcement are on the front lines every day fighting to keep our communities safe, and they want to know that their Attorney General is right there with them,” he added.

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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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