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Government & Politics

An Early Peek at Campaign Finance Reports


That’s the amount of money that the campaign committee of Montgomery County Executive Marc B. Elrich (D) reported raising and spending in the past year.


That’s the amount of money left in the campaign fund of the late House speaker Michael E. Busch (D).

These were just some of the preliminary numbers — and insights — provided in the latest round of campaign finance reports for Maryland elected officials and candidates, which were due at the State Board of Elections by midnight Wednesday.

Not all of the reports had been posted on the election board’s website by early Thursday morning, so it was tough to fully examine them and draw many conclusions.

Maryland Matters will continue combing through dozens, if not hundreds of campaign finance statements in the next few days, and will bring you more in-depth reports as soon as we can.

But here are a few early observations:

State Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) was far and away the most active of the statewide elected officials on the fundraising front. He reported raising $724,218 between Jan. 10, 2019 and Jan. 8 of this year. He spent $175,061, and reported $1,572,296 on hand.

Franchot has said publicly that he plans to run for governor in 2022 after four terms as comptroller. If indeed he runs, he’ll have a formidable war chest.

State Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D), who has not disclosed his political plans for 2022, raised $111,229 during the first year of his second term, and reported $162,660 on hand after spending $59,098. Frosh carried a debt of $70,000 in his campaign account — personal loans he had made to his fund in 2013, as he contemplated a statewide bid.

Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R), who has upped his public appearances and political activities over the past year in advance of a possible run for governor in 2022, was not an especially prolific fundraiser over the past year. He reported $35,548 in the bank after raising $10,575 and spending $14,549.

Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) did not show much fundraising activity in his state campaign account. The governor reported taking in just $10,550, and distributed $387,057, most of it associated with the end of his re-election campaign in 2018.

A tweet from a Baltimore Sun reporter Wednesday said that Hogan had refunded a total of $62,950 to 29 donors. He banked just $7,656.

But it’s not as if Hogan has sworn off fundraising: He now has a super PAC that is not required to disclose information about its donations and expenditures. The super PAC is serving as a vehicle for Hogan’s political activities as he ponders his future beyond 2022, when he will be term-limited.

The leading Democratic candidates for mayor of Baltimore have now issued their fundraising reports. Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young reported the most cash on hand, $959,332, after raising $599,270 and spending $184,093.

But former prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah reported raising $1,002,147 and banking $840,564. City Council President Brandon M. Scott raised $458,362 and had $428,993 on hand.

State Sen. Mary L. Washington had $116,186 on hand after raising $155,351. Former mayor Sheila Dixon reported $88,759 in the bank after raising $100,483. And former Baltimore Police Department spokesman T.J. Smith raised $40,318 and had $22,211 on hand.

The marquee Republican race this primary season is a three-way battle for Cecil County Executive, but incumbent Alan McCarthy has a significant financial advantage. He reported $79,635 on hand after taking in $90,455.

Danielle Hornberger, an aide to U.S. Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R-Md.) who is challenging McCarthy with the congressman’s support, raised $13,996 and had $10,109 in the bank. Hogan administration official Ewing McDowell had just $3,439 on hand after raising $10,160 — a figure that included a $3,000 personal loan.

Most of the county executives who took office for the first time in late 2018 showed fairly strong fundraising numbers, led by Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. (D). e had $914,115 in the bank after raising $977,135 and spending $138,905. Olszewski is occasionally mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2022.

Another county executive whose political future is much discussed by Maryland political professionals, Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) of Prince George’s County, raised $433,960 in the past year and finished the reporting period with $360,243 in the bank after spending $244,156.

Rounding out the newcomers, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) raised $448,564 over the past year and banked $428,165 after spending $163,001. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) reported $154,646 on hand after raising $212,274.

Then there’s Elrich, the left-leaning Montgomery County executive who began last January with just $1,627 in his campaign account and ended this year’s reporting period with the exact same amount. Montgomery County has a public financing system for county elections that Elrich took full advantage of in 2018, so aggressive fundraising isn’t quite the imperative that it is in other jurisdictions.

The other two members of the “Big 7” county executives who are in their second terms showed contrasting fundraising strategies. Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R), who is pondering his political future, raised $123,844 and had $365,997, while Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner (D), who is termed out in 2022, raised just $3,495 and had $7,964 on hand.

The legislature’s new presiding officers, House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County), and Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City), both proved to be very strong fundraisers.

Jones, who inherited the speaker’s gavel from Busch on May 1, reported raising $758,999 and banking $623,440 as of Jan. 8. She started 2019 with a relatively modest $44,752 on hand.

Ferguson, who became the presumptive Senate president in the fall, raised $789,970 and reported $746,705 on hand. He had $70,341 in his account on Jan. 10, 2019.

Former Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who announced his plans to step down in the fall, raised $43,268 and had a $56,661 cash on hand total.

Busch’s campaign closed out with a $75,000 contribution to the House Democratic Caucus Committee and a $40,000 donation to the Maryland Democratic Party.

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An Early Peek at Campaign Finance Reports