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Election 2022

At Annual Reporting Deadline, Mizeur Leads Harris in Fundraising and Fourth District Campaigns Heat Up

Former Del. Heather Mizeur, a Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District seat, shakes the hand of incumbent Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R) at the Tawes crab feast in October. Photo by Bruce DePuyt.

Heather Mizeur, a former state delegate running to unseat Maryland’s lone congressional Republican, reported raising $1.32 million in 2021 — a figure her campaign says is a record for the district in a non-election year.

Year-end campaign finance reports, detailing financial activity between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, were due to the Federal Elections Commission by midnight Monday.

Mizeur’s campaign for the 1st Congressional District reported outraising incumbent Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R) in the fourth quarter of 2021, as well as the full year.

“Over the decade that Andy Harris has been in office, he has never seen a challenge like this one – fueled by a grassroots army, propelled by everyday Marylanders ready for change, and equipped with an energy strong enough to unseat him once and for all,” Mizeur said in a statement. “This race is just beginning, and I know our movement is geared up to accomplish many more goals and hit many more milestones over the coming months, as we work toward our ultimate aim: sending a pragmatic, bipartisan, dignified leader to represent us in Congress.”

Harris, who handily won reelection bids in the district as it was previously drawn, brought in $790,639 in 2021, including $205,581 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31.

Mizeur’s fundraising haul included $276,886 in the final quarter of 2021, according to her year-end report.

But Harris, who is so-far unopposed in the Republican primary, retains an edge in the amount of cash on hand.

He ended the year with $1,523,650 left in the bank, after spending just over $266,000 throughout 2021.

Mizeur spent $432,670 in 2021, including $150,514 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, leaving her with $889,687 in cash on hand heading toward the June 28 primary election.

R. David Harden, a foreign policy strategist, is also running for the Democratic nomination.

He reported $253,476 raised in 2021, including $53,634 in the fourth quarter.

Harden spent $175,732 throughout 2021, and ended the year with $77,343 in cash on hand. In a news release, Harden’s campaign wrote that “dollars raised don’t equate to votes,” pointing to Mizeur’s performance on the Eastern Shore during the three-way 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary when she was a candidate.

“The 2020 election showed that rural and suburban voters still don’t support progressive politics. Mizeur was unelectable in 2014,” Harden’s campaign statement reads. “Nothing has changed.”

Mizeur’s campaign said the lion’s share of donations it received, 82%, were for $100 or less and 83% of donors over the past year were from Maryland.

Mizeur, who represented Montgomery County in the General Assembly and now lives in Chestertown on the Eastern Shore, has racked up endorsements from Democratic members of Maryland’s congressional delegation as she vies for a chance to unseat Harris, the state’s lone congressional Republican.

Former Republican Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest, who Harris ousted in the 2008 primary election, has also endorsed Mizeur.

Maryland’s 1st District saw significant changes when lawmakers passed a new congressional map during a December special session. The district was previously heavily Republican and looped above the Chesapeake Bay to include portions of Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties; It now crosses the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to include a portion of Anne Arundel County with the Eastern Shore.

That change is set to make the district more competitive for Democrats in future elections. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee added the district to its “districts in play” target list last week.

Harden’s home near Westminster in Carroll County isn’t in the 1st District in Maryland’s new map, although he previously said he’s contemplating a move to the Eastern Shore. The U.S. Constitution requires representatives to live in the state they represent, but not the same district. Harden described the newly drawn 1st District as “perfect” for his campaign in a December interview.

Harris, of Cockeysville in Baltimore County, also doesn’t live in the newly drawn 1st District.

Jennifer Pingley, a registered nurse campaigning for the Democratic nomination, did not report any financial activity.

Fourth District race heats up

Former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn F. Ivey (D) has jumped to a fundraising lead over state Del. Jazz M. Lewis (D-Prince George’s) in the open-seat Democratic primary in the 4th congressional district.

Ivey reported raising $277,574 between October and Dec. 31. He finished 2021 with $238,560 in his campaign account after spending $39,013.

Lewis reported raising $211,286 in his first several weeks as a candidate and had $174,382 in the bank as of Dec. 31 after spending $36,903 during that period.

Ivey and Lewis, along with former Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) and former Del. Angela Angel (D-Prince George’s) are competing in the June 28 Democratic primary to replace U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D-Md.), who has chosen to leave Congress to run for attorney general.

Ivey, making his second bid for Congress, reported a $5,800 contribution from Anthony Ambrose, a tech executive in Redmond, Wash., and a $4,000 donation from William F. Chesley, a real estate executive in Crofton. More than a dozen donors contributed $2,900, including from former state Sen. Douglas J.J. Peters (D-Prince George’s).

Other noteworthy donors to Ivey include Richard Ben-Veniste, a former Watergate special prosecutor, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle (D-S.D.), former Gov. Martin J. O’Malley (D), and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke (D). Ivey received several contributions from local attorneys, business executives and real estate industry professionals.

Lewis, who has served in the General Assembly since 2017 and is chair of the House Democratic Caucus, reported receiving dozens of contributions since joining the 4th District race in the fall. Most were high-dollar donations and can be roughly divided into three categories: Contributions from his colleagues; contributions that came through his connections with U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.), his ex-boss; and contributions from Annapolis lobbyists.

Hoyer’s political action committee, AmeriPAC, donated $10,000, and the congressman himself kicked in $4,000 from his campaign account. Other big donors included Wesley Donovan, head of the Chesapeake Amusements Resort in Chesapeake Beach, who gave $5,000; and Mark Falzone, president of Scienic America, a national conservation group; Patrick Gallaher, a top aide to Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D); Michael Sadowsky, head of a Democratic super PAC called Protect Our Future; Anish Shah, a vascular physician; and Annapolis lobbyists Bruce C. Bereano and Timothy Perry. Each gave $2,900.

Lewis said 80% of his contributors were from Maryland.

“I am thrilled with the level of support our people-powered campaign has received,” he said on Twitter Monday. “I don’t come from money. My family fought its way into the middle class, and I plan to continue fighting for yours.”

Meanwhile, Edwards, who announced only recently that she would try to get her old job back, said Monday that she raised “more than $300,000” since she formally became a candidate.

Edwards’ haul is not yet reflected in a campaign finance filing because the newly-released reports only cover fundraising activities through Dec. 31.

Edwards said that 80% of the contributions she received were $100 or less.

“The excitement we’ve seen in just 11 days has redefined Maryland’s 4th congressional district race,” she said.

Angel’s campaign filed a notice with the FEC around 11 p.m. Monday saying it was exempt from the filing deadline.

“The campaign was officially launched on December 21, 2021 and was immediately forced to pause all activities due to the candidate and staff contracting COVID 19,” the filing stated. “The campaign resumed and began soliciting and collecting donations in January 2022 and will file the appropriate report in March of 2022.”

Brown, who had built a formidable war chest for a reelection bid before switching to the attorney general election, continues to operate a congressional campaign committee. It reported raising $32,369 in early and mid-October, before he became a candidate for attorney general, and ended the year with $1,456,236 on hand. Overall, Brown’s congressional campaign reported spending $106,892 between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31 — including $60,700 in refunded campaign contributions. Those presumably were sent back to donors with the hope that they would instead contribute to his state campaign fund, which reported $617,250 on hand as of Jan. 12.

Brown cannot automatically transfer his federal campaign funds to his state account for the June 28 primary, but he will be able to able to turn over a substantial amount of the federal war chest to the state fund for the general election — which is almost certain not to be competitive — if he becomes the Democratic nominee for AG.

Danielle E. Gaines contributed to this report.