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Election 2022 Government & Politics

Political Notes: Adams’ Self-Funding, Jockeying in Dist. 18 Senate Primary, Biden Nominates Raskin

Bowie Mayor Timothy J. Adams, a Democratic candidate for comptroller, chats with the crowd at the J. Millard Tawes Clam Bake and Crab Feast in Crisfield. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to change the characterization of the timing of Adams’ most recent loan to his campaign.

Democratic comptroller candidate Timothy J. Adams put $1.8 million of his own money into his campaign account on Jan. 11, a new campaign finance report shows.

Adams is the first Black mayor of Bowie and the founder and CEO of the multimillion-dollar defense contracting firm Systems Application & Technologies. Prior to the $1.8 million loan on Jan. 11, Adams had already loaned his campaign $470,000 in 2021.

Adams reported having a total of $1,854,548.45 cash on hand as of Jan. 12, when the report was filed. According to that report, which covers campaign fundraising and expenditures from Jan. 14, 2021 to last Wednesday, Adams raised $71,412 in campaign contributions outside of his own loans.

He spent roughly $162,681 over that same nearly year-long period on salaries and compensation, $190,287 in media like online advertising, $40,459 in printing and campaign materials and $79,202 in fundraising expenses. Factoring in other expenses like postage, rent and field expenses, Adams’ campaign spent $540,621.67 over the past year.

Adams touted using more than $2 million of his own money for his campaign in a news release and said he would be “unbought and unbossed” as comptroller — a phrase often associated with the late New York Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (D).

“I know budgets and finances, and I want to make sure Maryland has a qualified caretaker of the State’s tax dollars who is doing the job in the best interests of the people, not as a stepping stone to some higher office.” Adams said in a statement.

Adams’ massive last-minute loan to his campaign came as word of the fundraising haul of his Democratic primary opponent, Del. Brooke E. Lierman (Baltimore City), was circulating widely in political circles, even though she hasn’t officially submitted her campaign finance statement. Whether the timing was coincidental or not, Adams now has a slight advantage when it comes to cash on hand.

Lierman raised more than $1.7 million in the last reporting period and reported more than $1.73 million in cash on hand, according to a campaign email to supporters obtained by Maryland Matters. That funding came from more than 4,100 unique contributors — including 3,000 new contributors since the campaign’s last report.

Roughly 66% of those contributions were under $100, the campaign said, and more than 1,750 were under $25.

“Brooke has hustle and heart,” Candace Dodson-Reed, the Lierman campaign treasurer, said in a statement. “She has been to every region of the state and her message is clearly resonating with voters. Brooke is the best candidate for this job and will be an effective and visionary Comptroller.”

Lierman is barred by state law from fundraising during the 2022 legislative session, which ends on April 11.

Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, the lone Republican candidate for comptroller, has yet to announce his fundraising totals. Campaign finance reports for candidates for state and many local offices are due to be filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections by midnight Wednesday.

Frosh backs Dist. 18 incumbent

State Sen. Jeffrey D. Waldstreicher (D-Montgomery) last week touted an endorsement from state Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D), an icon in most liberal Democratic circles.

Waldstreicher, who is seeking a second term in the Senate after serving three terms in the House, is trying to fend off a Democratic primary challenge in District 18 from community organizer and progressive activist Max Socol.

“Jeff Waldstreicher shows up and fights hard,” Frosh said in a statement. “He’s a champion for our progressive values: investing in education, cracking down on gun violence, and protecting consumers.”

Socol this week said in a news release that he has raised “more than $100,000” for his campaign, but provided no further details. Neither Socol nor Waldstreicher had filed their latest campaign finance reports as of Monday night. Waldstreicher had $235,348 in his war chest a year ago.

Socol has been endorsed by two former lawmakers who represented District 18, former Sen. Sharon M. Grosfeld (D) and former Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D).

Raskin nominated as Federal Reserve vice chair

President Biden nominated Sarah Bloom Raskin to serve as vice chair for supervision of the Federal Reserve on Friday, elevating Raskin to a leadership role on the board where she served during the Obama administration.

Biden called Raskin, who is married to Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md,) “among the most qualified nominees ever” for the position.

Raskin has previously served both as the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury and as a governor of the Federal Reserve Board under President Obama. Raskin was also commissioner of financial regulation for the state of Maryland from 2007 to 2014.

If confirmed, her role at the Federal Reserve would be to lead regulation and supervision of large banks.

The White House said Biden’s nominees – who also include Michigan State University Professor Lisa D. Cook and Davidson College Professor Philip Jefferson nominated Friday as Fed board governors – will bring “long overdue diversity” to leadership of the Federal Reserve. If all of Biden’s nominees are confirmed, the board will be majority women.

“When we have leaders in the Federal government that reflect the diversity of our country, it results in better outcomes for all Americans. That is especially true in our economy where too many groups historically have been left behind, or left out altogether,” the White House said in a statement.

Biden said he had “full confidence” in his nominees to “help build our economy back better for working families.”

Maryland’s U.S. senators, Chris Van Hollen (D) and Benjamin L. Cardin (D), issued statements praising Raskin’s nomination.

Van Hollen called Raskin a “brilliant choice” and said he looked forward to “working with my colleagues in the Senate to confirm these highly qualified individuals as quickly as possible.”

“As our nation continues to face a range of economic challenges – including the impact of COVID-19, the need to create more shared prosperity, and the accelerating financial and other threats of climate change – we need wise and strong leadership at the Federal Reserve,” Van Hollen said.

Cardin, chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee and a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee, has introduced Raskin during previous confirmation hearings.

“I am excited at the continuing role she will play in guiding our economy toward future growth and stability,” Cardin said. “Her deep financial and regulatory knowledge and sound judgment made her an essential asset in each role she has undertaken.”