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Government & Politics

Hot Fundraising Numbers for Hot House Races

With so much focus on Republicans’ bid to pick up five state Senate seats this November – which would enable them to sustain Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr.’s (R) vetoes, assuming he wins a second term – competitive House races aren’t getting nearly as much attention.

While Republicans are targeting at least six Senate seats, it appears as if House Democrats are playing offense in more districts than they are on defense. The candidates’ latest fundraising reports, which were made public Tuesday, show the contours of the most competitive races.

Currently, Democrats hold a 91-50 edge in the House. It takes 85 votes to override a governor’s veto. Over the course of the last two election cycles, Republicans have picked up 14 House seats.

What follows are fundraising totals and analysis in the eight most competitive races. They cover the period June 11-Aug. 21.


District 2B – Washington County

The race in this subdistrict, based in Hagerstown, features one of the legislature’s newest members, Del. Paul D. Corderman (R), against the former chairman of the Washington County Democratic Central Committee, Peter E. Perini Sr.

Corderman, a former Hagerstown city councilman, was appointed to the seat late last year to replace former Del. Brett Wilson (R), who became a Circuit Court judge. Washington County sent Democrats to Annapolis as recently as 2014, and President Trump carried District 2B by less than 500 votes two years ago. The two candidates are very close on the fundraising front.

Del. Paul D. Corderman (R)

  • Previous balance: $6,069
  • Receipts: $35,850
  • Expenditures: $9,675
  • Cash on hand: $32,244

Peter E. Perini Sr. (D)

  • Previous balance: $28,090
  • Receipts: $2,880
  • Expenditures: $191
  • Cash on hand: $30,779

District 3B – Frederick County

This subdistrict, south of the city of Frederick, is starting to look a little more like nearby Montgomery County these days, demographically and politically, and Democrats think they have a shot against first-term Del. William Folden (R). The Democratic nominee is Ken Kerr, a community college professor and elected member of the Frederick County Board of Education.

Del. William Folden (R)

  • Previous balance: $37,761
  • Receipts: $20,600
  • Expenditures: $8,382
  • Cash on hand: $49,978

Ken Kerr (D)

  • Previous balance: $9,565
  • Receipts: $7,707
  • Expenditures: $3,321
  • Cash on hand: $13,951

District 8 – Baltimore County

This is one of the swingiest of the state’s swing districts. It is hosting one of the most competitive state Senate elections of the year, and has had a partisan split in the House delegation for decades. Two of the district’s incumbents, Del. Eric Bromwell (D) and Del. Joe Cluster (R), are favored to return.

Which means the other four candidates – former Del. Joseph C. Boteler III and businessman Joe Norman on the Republican side, and former school administrator Harry Bhandari and university administrator Carl Jackson for the Democrats – may effectively be competing for one seat, with the other incumbent, Del. Christian J. Miele (R), running for Senate. Bhandari had far and away the most money as of Aug. 21. And Bromwell’s take could get bigger this fall since he will become vice chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee in 2019, assuming he returns.

Joseph C. Boteler III (R)

  • Previous balance: $7,954
  • Receipts: $200
  • Expenditures: $2,887
  • Cash on hand: $5,266

Del. Joe Cluster (R)

  • Previous balance: $35,663
  • Receipts: $8,255
  • Expenditures: $9,185
  • Cash on hand: $34,732

Joe Norman (R)

  • Previous balance: $13,410
  • Receipts: $380
  • Expenditures: $3,688
  • Cash on hand: $10,102

Harry Bhandari (D)

  • Previous balance: $53,375
  • Receipts: $27,790
  • Expenditures: $5,682
  • Cash on hand: $75,484

Del. Eric Bromwell (D)

  • Previous balance: $76,184
  • Receipts: $11,750
  • Expenditures: $4,976
  • Cash on hand: $82,957

Carl Jackson (D)

  • Previous balance: $15,365
  • Receipts: $13,130
  • Expenditures: $7,909
  • Cash on hand: $20,586

District 9B – Howard County

This may be the marquee House race of the cycle, featuring two political heavyweights – Del. Robert L. Flanagan (R), who is finishing his fifth term in Annapolis, and former Howard County Councilwoman Courtney Watson (D), who ran unsuccessfully for county executive four years ago. Flanagan is one of the smartest and canniest lawmakers around, but Watson is a relentless campaigner, and their war chests are almost identical.

Del. Robert L. Flanagan (R)

  • Previous balance: $54,630
  • Receipts: $0
  • Expenditures: $514
  • Cash on hand: $54,115

Courtney Watson (D)

  • Previous balance: $41,176
  • Receipts: $23,220
  • Expenditures: $10,669
  • Cash on hand: $53,727

District 29B – St. Mary’s County

Democrats are sky-high on their candidate, Brian M. Crosby, an Army ranger and attorney. But the district, based around the Patuxent River Naval Air Station, is very conservative. First-term Del. Deb Rey (R) was a giant-killer in 2014, ousting then-Del. John C. Bohanan, a rising star in House leadership. She has a significant fundraising advantage as well.

Del. Deb Rey (R)

  • Previous balance: $33,099
  • Receipts: $14,855
  • Expenditures: $11,853
  • Cash on hand: $36,101

Brian M. Crosby (D)

  • Previous balance: $20,279
  • Receipts: $8,551
  • Expenditures: $15,390
  • Cash on hand: $13,440

District 30A – Anne Arundel County

This is the home turf for House Speaker Michael E. Busch (D), based in Annapolis, but the second seat in the district was held for the past four years by Del. Herb McMillan (R), who chose not to seek reelection. This gives Democrats a chance to pick up McMillan’s seat, and they’re high on their second candidate, Alice Cain, a former Capitol Hill staffer and leader of an education think-tank. The Republicans in the race – both dangerously underfunded – are Chelsea Gill, a scheduler, and Bob O’Shea, a business consultant.

Chelsea Gill (R)

  • Previous balance: $2,044
  • Receipts: $394
  • Expenditures: $729
  • Cash on hand: $1,710

Bob O’Shea (R)

No fundraising activities or campaign expenditures reported

Del. Michael E. Busch (D)

  • Previous balance: $578,144
  • Receipts: $57,980
  • Expenditures: $381,471
  • Cash on hand: $254,652

Alice Cain (D)

  • Previous balance: $28,911
  • Receipts: $34,220
  • Expenditures: $36,310
  • Cash on hand: $26,820

District 31A – Anne Arundel County

First-term Del. Ned Carey (D) has a decent-sized war chest, but in a conservative district, Democrats always have to be careful. The Republican, Army veteran and businessman Brooks Bennett, is a solid candidate.

Brooks Bennett (R)

  • Previous balance: $14,779
  • Receipts: $7,067
  • Expenditures: $790
  • Cash on hand: $21,057

Del. Ned Carey (D)

  • Previous balance: $73,383
  • Receipts: $12,437
  • Expenditures: $3,833
  • Cash on hand: $81,988

District 34A – Harford County

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti is the last Democrat standing in Harford County right now. But in a cycle when she could be targeted, she has shown fundraising and political strength and has organized Democrats in the county up and down the ballot.

The Republican incumbent in this subdistrict, Del. Glen Glass, has been a weak fundraiser. Many political professionals were surprised when Havre de Grace City Councilwoman Monica Worrell did not emerge from the Republican primary; she would have been a strong contender in the general election. The other candidates this November are J.D. Russell (R), who owns a real estate management company, and small businessman Steve Johnson (D).

Del. Glen Glass (R)

  • Previous balance: $2,529
  • Receipts: $0
  • Expenditures: $580
  • Cash on hand: $1,948

J.D. Russell (R)

  • Previous balance: $7,504
  • Receipts: $26,285 (includes a $20,000 loan)
  • Expenditures: $23,881
  • Cash on hand: $9,907

Steve Johnson (D)

  • Previous balance: $2,685
  • Receipts: $300
  • Expenditures: $0
  • Cash on hand: $2,985

Del. Mary Ann Lisanti (D)

  • Previous balance: $54,535
  • Receipts: $6,350
  • Expenditures: $27,529
  • Cash on hand: $33,356

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