Trone to Report $3M in Congressional Campaign War Chest

Congressional candidate David J. Trone (D) is signaling he will continue to dip deeply into his personal fortune in the closing weeks of his battle with Republican rival Amie Hoeber. According to the campaign, Trone will report having more than $3 million in his account when it files its third-quarter fundraising activity to the Federal Election Commission on Oct. 15, the next-to-last report before Election Day.  Three million dollars is an enviable amount of cash for a congressional candidate to have on hand during the all-important home stretch, when voters are most likely to be paying attention. The funds, some from donors but most from the candidate himself, will guarantee that Trone will have an outsized presence on TV and radio, in mailings and in voter outreach efforts. “David is fully committed to winning the election to be the next Representative for the Sixth District,” said campaign spokesman Alex Koren. “To that end, his third quarter FEC filing will show that he has more than $3 million cash on hand.” 

David J. Trone 

Trone and Hoeber and are battling for the seat currently held by Rep. John K. Delaney (D), who announced last year that he is leaving Congress after three terms to run for president in 2020.The 6th District runs from Western Montgomery County into the panhandle of Maryland. Neither candidate lives in the district — and the contours of the district were the topic of a federal court hearing Thursday.  Trone recently returned to the campaign trail after treatment for cancer, including surgical removal of a kidney on Sept. 11.  The candidates will debate twice — on Oct. 23 in Gaithersburg and Oct. 24 in Washington County. Trone spent $13 million two years ago in an unsuccessful bid for the neighboring congressional seat that opened when Chris Van Hollen (D) ran for the U.S. Senate. His spending brought him within striking distance of the eventual Democratic primary winner, Jamie Raskin, but was not enough to secure victory.  Through June 30, he had spent more than $11.6 million on this year’s campaign, with more than $11.2 million coming from his own pocket.  Trone is the founder and CEO of Total Wine & More. Privately, many Democrats grumble at his ability to dominate his campaigns with his personal wealth. In the last fundraising report, in late June, Hoeber reported $292,000 in funds raised, with $80,500 cash on hand. In addition, her husband, former telecom executive Mark Epstein, is pouring hundreds of thousands of his own fortune into a Super PAC boosting her candidacy, as he did in 2016 when she ran unsuccessfully against Delaney. Hoeber’s campaign strategists acknowledge they won’t be able to match Trone dollar-for-dollar. “We have [the money] we need to be competitive,” adviser Paul Ellington told Maryland Matters recently.

“They’re taking a 10,000-foot carpet bomb approach and we’re more precise in our targeting.” 

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Bruce DePuyt
Bruce DePuyt spent nearly three decades on local television, including 14 years as executive producer and host of News Talk on NewsChannel 8 in the Washington, D.C., area. He has served as reporter, anchor and producer/host of 21 This Week in Montgomery County and as reporter/anchor at NBC affiliate WVIR-TV in Charlottesville, VA. He's a regular contributor to WTOP (103.5 FM) and frequently moderates community and political events.


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