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Election 2024 Government & Politics

Dunn, Alsobrooks, Vogel touting fundraising numbers ahead of deadline

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D) speaks to voters at a U.S. Senate candidate forum hosted by the Democratic Club of Leisure World. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Although campaign finance reports showing federal candidates’ fundraising and spending for the first three months of 2024 aren’t due to be released until next Monday, some Maryland contenders are already teasing their numbers as a sign of their level of support.

Harry Dunn, the former U.S. Capitol Police officer who is making his first political run in the 3rd congressional district, is going to report raising more than $3.75 million since becoming a candidate in early January, his campaign told Maryland Matters. Dunn is one of 22 Democrats seeking to replace departing U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D).

Dunn is expected to report about $1.69 million cash on hand as of March 31, a reflection of how much broadcast, digital and cable TV airtime he is buying. Dunn will report having more than 100,000 distinct donors, with an average contribution of $21. More than 5,000 of those donors are from Maryland.

Dunn has pledged not to take corporate contributions or money from political action committees representing business interests. He became famous, and later wrote a best-selling book, after battling insurrectionists at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

Harry Dunn, a retired U.S. Capitol police officer, is running in the 3rd congressional district Democratic primary. Campaign photo.

“We’re building a grassroots movement to save and strengthen our democracy, and to deliver for the people of Maryland’s third district,” Dunn said in a statement. “I’m so humbled by the outpouring of support for our campaign from across the district, Maryland, and the country.”

In recent days Dunn has sought to draw a distinction between himself and several of his Democratic primary opponents, including five state lawmakers who have taken business money for their legislative campaigns.

Dunn has already aired two TV ads ahead of the May 14 primary and can clearly afford more. One of Dunn’s opponents, state Sen. Clarence K. Lam (D-Howard and Anne Arundel), began airing a TV ad this week. Another candidate, state Sen. Sarah K. Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel) is airing an ad focused on abortion rights, while a group associated with the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is running an independent expenditure ad on her behalf.

Meanwhile, in the hard-fought Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced Tuesday that she will report raising more than $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2024 — a take her campaign is describing as the largest first quarter on-year fundraising haul of any federal candidate in Maryland history; the previous record was $1.8 million, the campaign said.

The county executive’s campaign also said it had the most individual contributors this quarter than in any other, a 54% increase from the prior quarter.

“This campaign is on the move, and I am truly grateful for the outpouring of support from people all across this state,” Alsobrooks said in a statement. “It’s indicative that our people-first message is resonating with Marylanders.”

Since joining the Senate race last May, Alsobrooks has raised money at a robust clip, pulling in more than $5 million through the end of 2023. But that take is dwarfed by the money that her principal Democratic rival, U.S. Rep. David Trone, of the 6th congressional district, is spending from his own pocket on the race. Trone, a wealthy businessman, reported spending $23.2 million this election cycle through the end of the year — almost all of it from his own pocket.

The congressman has yet to say how much he has collected and spent in the first quarter of this year.

Alsobrooks will never be able to match Trone’s firepower on the airwaves, so on Tuesday her campaign was also touting her grass-roots operation.

“With over 3,800 volunteers who are knocking on doors, making calls, and sending text messages, we are continuing to build the grassroots movement needed to win in May and in November,” said Nick Meier, the campaign’s organizing director. “We have made over 160,000 calls to voters, and texted over 160,000 voters in just the last two weeks. Now we are taking our movement to every corner of this state to sign our supporters up to get out the vote.”

But as has so often been the case in this Senate primary, when one candidate puts out an announcement, the other tries to trump it — or at least blunt it.

So on Tuesday, Trone’s campaign countered with the news that he had picked up the endorsements of four influential Democratic political clubs: the Latino Democrats of Prince George’s County, North Baltimore County Democrat Club, Baltimore County Progressive Democrats Club, and the Ellicott City and Western Howard County Democratic Club.

“They recognize that the future of our state depends on electing public servants who will reject special interests and fight for real, progressive results,” the congressman said in a statement. “I’m thrilled to have them on Team Trone.”

Vogel’s volume, and a poll

In another multi-candidate open seat congressional race, in the 6th District, Del. Joe Vogel (D-Montgomery) is prepared to announce that he raised $231,284 in the first three months of 2024, and finished March with $234,711 in his war chest.

That figure is likely to be dwarfed by April McClain Delaney, a former U.S. Commerce Department official who is also seeking the Democratic nomination. She has been the fundraising leader in the race to replace Trone so far.

Vogel launched his first TV ad in the race this week, targeting Delaney. The ad features Vogel sitting on a suburban stoop, talking to the camera.

“Let’s be honest,” he says as the ad opens. “Every Democrat running for Congress supports abortion rights, gun safety and the environment.”

But then he argues that he and Delaney have different approaches, accusing her of donating to “extreme Republicans” and befriending broadcaster Tucker Carlson and former U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

“I come from the school shooting generation, where you know that you can’t hope politicians do the right thing, you have to make them,” Vogel says in the ad.

The Delaney campaign is pushing back.

“Joe wants to run an old, tired campaign of attacks and distortions,” Delaney’s campaign manager, Nick London, told The Washington Post this week. “April is a common sense, common ground candidate with decades of experience who will protect choice and work with President Biden to get things done.”

Vogel’s campaign released a poll this week showing him as the runner-up to Delaney in a race with a huge swath of undecided voters.

The poll of 500 likely Democratic primary voters, taken March 14-17, showed Delaney with 17%, Vogel with 10%, while 48% of voters were undecided. The poll, conducted by GBAO, a national Democratic polling firm, had a 4.4-point margin of error.

In a memo, the firm described the race as wide open.

“Support for all candidates is soft with no candidate coming in over five percent when voters are asked how certain they are that they will actually vote for the candidate they chose,” the polling memo said.


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Dunn, Alsobrooks, Vogel touting fundraising numbers ahead of deadline