In Latest Campaign Finance Reports, Two Democratic Tickets Report $1 Million-Plus Hauls — With Moore in the Lead
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect updated calculations in the Franchot campaign’s take since mid-January.
Two Democrats running for governor reported that their campaigns had raised more than $1 million in the last six months, with former nonprofit CEO and author Wes Moore leading the pack.
Moore reported raising more than $2 million, including more than $1.9 million from individual contributors since mid-January. The Moore campaign said that over 70% of contributions it received were of $100 or less.
The campaign also received more than $40,000 in donations from other candidate committees, including U.S. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer ($6,000), Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks ($6,000) and Baltimore County Council Chair Julian Jones ($6,000).
The political action committee for the Maryland State Education Association, which endorsed the campaign in April, gave $6,000 to Moore, plus an additional $6,000 to his running mate, former Del. Aruna Miller.
The campaign spent more than $3.1 million since mid-January through its combined accounts and retains more than $2.1 million for the final weeks of the campaign.
Former U.S. Labor Secretary Tom Perez (D) and his running mate, former Baltimore City Councilmember Shannon Sneed, reported the second-largest fundraising haul: nearly $1.5 million in the last reporting period.
The campaign received significant cash infusions from unions, including the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, SEIU Local 500, the International Union of Bricklayers and more than a half-dozen others.
The campaign retains about $1.2 million in cash, according to the reports filed Tuesday.
“We’re continuing to build a strong, diverse, and rapidly growing coalition who share our inclusive vision to deliver jobs, justice, and opportunity to every Marylander,” Perez said in a statement. “I’m so appreciative for the generous support from all those who believe in us, including unprecedented backing from labor and working families, who trust my long career in public service, working to expand opportunity and promote justice, and delivering for Marylanders.”
The campaign is also being buoyed by a recent TV ad buy from an independent expenditure group, Maryland Opportunity Inc. The independent expenditure entity reported raising $1,152,000 between mid-March and June 9 — almost all of it from labor unions — and spending just shy of $600,000 on TV ads in the Baltimore media market.
Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D) spent a significant amount of campaign cash and has a robust war chest for the run-up to the primary, but his fundraising fell off some since mid-January.
In January he and running mate Monique Anderson-Walker, a former Prince George’s County councilmember, had almost $3.3 million in cash, spread across three accounts — his, hers and a joint slate account.
During the winter and spring, the duo raised $619,789. Franchot was banned from raising money during the three-month General Assembly session, but Anderson-Walker was not. They enter the final five weeks before the July 19 primary with $1,626,753 cash on hand.
Most of their money — nearly $1.2 million — went to advertising. More than $750,000 went to staff salaries and consultants.
Franchot was outraised during the reporting period by the ticket of former U.S. Education Secretary John King and running mate Michelle Siri. That campaign said it is showing momentum in the final weeks of the campaign, with more than $300,000 raised in the last two weeks, since earning endorsements from the Sierra Club and Pro-Choice Maryland.
In total, King and Siri reported raising more than $875,000 in the most recent reporting period, during which nearly $1.3 million was spent. King’s take was the third highest of Democratic candidates.
“Throughout this campaign it has been clear, as Maryland Democrats hear John’s message and learn more about him, they quickly move to support him,” campaign manager Joe O’Hern said in a statement. “It is clear that John is not only a top contender in this race for governor, but has the resources and momentum necessary to win this primary.”
The campaign noted that 77% of the contributions it has received were for $100 or less. The campaign had about $827,000 cash on hand for the remaining five weeks of the campaign.
The latest fundraising figures come just after a Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll published earlier this month. Franchot had the support of 20% of Democrats surveyed, Moore had 15% support, and Perez had 12% support. King garnered 4% support in that survey. A third of likely Democratic voters polled at the time had not yet made up their minds on who to vote for.
Two Democratic candidates have loaned themselves money for the final stretch of the campaign.
Former Attorney General Doug Gansler will have more than $1 million to spend during the final weeks of the campaign, thanks largely to $800,000 that he loaned his campaign.
Gansler, who is making his second run for governor, had $393,372 on hand in January. He took in $291,676 in donations from supporters over the last five months, spending $418,029. With the loan added in, he has $1,067,019 cash on hand.
In a statement, campaign manager Shaun Daniels said Gansler and his running mate, Candace Hollingsworth, will use their resources to focus on public safety, which the duo have described as the top concern of voters.
“We’ve kept our powder dry and have preserved our resources until the right moment,” Daniels said. “This election will be about crime” and Gansler is the candidate for Republicans to fear, he continued.
Jon Baron also enters the final weeks of the campaign flush with cash — and he too dipped into his own pocket to make it happen.
Baron had $1,733,096 in January, thanks almost entirely to $1.7 million he loaned his campaign last year. After raising $200,031 and spending $314,946 in the just-concluded reporting period, Baron has $1,618,180 to use between now and the primary.
“This is when voters are really starting to pay attention to this race,” said campaign manager Pablo Roa in a statement. “We have the resources to meet them where they are with a fundamentally different message that resonates — and that’s exactly what we’ve begun to do.”
Ashwani Jain, who is running an all-volunteer campaign and has pledged to not take donations from corporations, developers and political action committees, had not turned in a report by 1 a.m. The public financing committee for Jerome Segal did not seek any matching funds; Segal had pumped about $10,000 into his campaign effort in May and June.
The Republican race
In the Republican primary for governor, former Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz, the favorite of Gov. Larry Hogan and most of the GOP establishment, had an overwhelming advantage on the fundraising front.
Schulz, along with her running mate Jeff Woolford, a military veteran and public health doctor, together raised $935,394 since mid-January. Between their two accounts, they reported $784,985 on hand.
“Once again, our campaign brought in a record fundraising haul for a non-incumbent Republican candidate for governor,” said Hunter Mullins, Schulz’s campaign manager. “We have the right candidate, message, and the resources needed to win the race and continue to move Maryland in the right direction.”
By contrast, Del. Dan Cox and his running mate, attorney Gordana Schifanelli, together had $183,958.
Cox’s campaign has been largely propelled by grass-roots supporters of former President Trump. But whether he’ll have the ability to compete with Schulz’s air game remains an open question. In fact, frequent candidate Robin Ficker, who spent a term in the House of Delegates from 1979 to 1983, reported more cash on hand than Cox as of June 7: $326,890.
Between mid-January and early June, Cox’s chief expenditures appeared to be for radio ads, which totaled at least $145,764, according to his campaign finance reports. He also spent $6,500 on a poll from Remington Research Group. Cox’s expenditure report included $460 to buy a plane ticket to fly to Florida to meet with Trump to discuss his campaign.
Schulz’s campaign has 216 pages of individual contributions, which total $826,753. Her campaign has been a magnet for big GOP consulting firms, and her campaign report shows payments of $464,411 for Flexpoint Media, an Ohio-based media firm; $149,058 to Red Maverick Media for broadcast ads, digital ads and campaign literature; $59,000 to Ragner Research Partners in Washington, D.C., for polling, $47,600 for Grassroots Targeting, a firm in Alexandria, Va., and $24,000 to Strategic Partners and Media, a firm Hogan used.
She also reported paying $203,446 in salaries and related expenses since mid-January.
The Baltimore Sun/University of Baltimore poll from earlier this month found that Schulz led Cox 27% to 21% among likely Republican voters. About 42% of those polled were undecided.