Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-6th) has accelerated his campaign fundraising to a record personal pace, but he has spent much less than his opponent in recent months.
The influx of more than $372,000 to Bartlett's campaign coffers from April through June comes as the 10-term congressman defends his seat against a Democratic takeover. These are the highest second-quarter fundraising numbers Bartlett has posted since he was first elected in 1992 and outstrip by a wide margin his 2010 receipts over the same period, when he netted only about $58,000, according to FEC reports.
While he has significantly stepped up his fundraising this quarter, Bartlett still trails his Democratic rival, John Delaney, who took in more than $452,000, according to Federal Election Commission finance reports.
The filings due July 15 show an even bigger difference on the opposite side of the ledger.
Bartlett's operating expenditures during the quarter totaled almost $109,000, while Delaney shelled out more than $539,000, the reports show.
Delaney's campaign manager, Justin Schall, said almost $300,000 of the reported spending reflects a final push before the April 3 primary election. And Delaney is busy laying the groundwork for grassroots campaigning later in the year, he said.
The Democratic effort is operating from field offices in Frederick, Hagerstown and Gaithersburg and includes 14 full-time employees and 40 full-time interns, Schall said.
Bartlett's camp works from a field office in Frederick and has about five full-time employees, although there are additional paid workers, campaign manager Ted Dacey reported.
Though his campaign has fewer offices than Delaney, Dacey said he is confident Bartlett will have the resources he needs to win the November general election.
"We certainly hope and are confident that donors will continue to support the congressman," Dacey said.
So far this election cycle, Bartlett has added more than $835,000 in contributions to his campaign war chest, and Delaney has garnered almost $1.4 million, according to the FEC reports.
Though Delaney has lent his campaign more than $1.6 million, he did not contribute any additional funds to his effort this quarter, according to the filings.
After almost two decades of comfortable wins, Bartlett faces a heated contest in a congressional district that took on a new shape last year. The 6th District now sweeps south into left-leaning Montgomery County, adding a heaping spoonful of blue to the political mix.
The county is also home to Delaney, the Potomac businessman who seized the Democratic nomination earlier this year.
Bartlett needs to reach Montgomery County voters in an aggressive way to hang on to his congressional seat, while Delaney must work on his name recognition in western Maryland, said Michael Powell, a political science professor at Frederick Community College.
Money will play a significant role in the candidates' efforts, allowing them to pay for ads and other forms of exposure, he added.
But Powell noted that both candidates have kept a relatively low profile since the primary. He said he does not see the lull lasting too much longer.
"This is the calm before the storm," he predicted.
Bartlett has done a good job of reaching out to his constituency in Montgomery County, according to Steve Gottlieb, chairman of the Frederick County Republican Central Committee.
"He's going into John Delaney's backyard and closing the money gap. It's certainly an encouraging sign that maybe his message is resonating with voters down in Montgomery County," Gottlieb said.
Delaney supporters are also getting energized, said Myrna Whitworth, chair of the Democratic State Central Committee of Frederick County.
She said the race in the 6th is competitive for the first time in years, and Delaney has appeared several times in Frederick to introduce himself to voters. On Sunday, he met constituents at a Staley Park cookout that drew about 200 people, according to Schall.
"We have a very strong candidacy that has the money and organization behind his candidacy and an energized population ready to vote for him," she said.
Local Democrats also are excited about the race in the 8th congressional district, which now includes the upper half of Frederick County.
FEC reports show incumbent U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen collected more than $346,000 in campaign contributions from April through June, while his Republican challenger, Ken Timmerman, garnered about $59,000.
Summary of campaign finance reports covering April 1 through June 30
U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Democrat in 8th)
- Net contributions: $346,717.69
- Contributions from individuals: $202,138
- Contributions from political committees: $145,704.69
- Net operating expenditures: $120,673.17
- Cash on hand at close of reporting period: $2,243,362.03
John Delaney (Democrat in 6th)
- Net contributions: $452,278.45
- Contributions from individuals: $326,307.48
- Contributions from political committees: $121,056.40
- Net operating expenditures: $539,810.72
- Cash on hand at close of reporting period: $227,818.35
Ken Timmerman (Republican in 8th)
- Net contributions: $59,407.63
- Contributions from individuals: $52,595
- Contributions from political committees: $4,500
- Net operating expenditures: $27,683.55
- Cash on hand at close of reporting period: $51,211.86
U.S. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (Republican in 6th)
- Net contributions: $372,432.44
- Contributions from individuals: $248,244.45
- Contributions from political committees: $126,698.99
- Net operating expenditures: $108,878.25
- Cash on hand at close of reporting period: $547,909.30