The Democratic candidates running for mayor and Board of Aldermen in Frederick’s upcoming general election outpaced the Republicans once again in fundraising, according to the second round of campaign finance reports released Monday.
Democratic Alderman Michael O’Connor, who is seeking to unseat Mayor Randy McClement, once again raised the most money of any of the candidates, raking in a little more than $14,000 since the last report on Aug. 11.
“The strategy has not changed,” O’Connor said of campaign team’s fundraising efforts. ‘We are talking to as many people as we can to try and get our message out. ... And we are pleased the community has responded. I hope that works through Nov. 7.”
The majority of O’Connor’s donations are small, with most coming in well under $1,000.
“I want to thank all the donors,” he said. “We couldn’t do without people who made contributions, put up yard signs, spread the message to friends and other voters.”
O’Connor reported $21,100 in contributions in August, nearly half of which he transferred from an account he had kept open from when he ran for alderman. He transferred $11,439 to the new report and spent nearly $6,000, leaving him with a little more than $19,500 cash on hand.
McClement, who did not return a call for comment Monday evening, raised a little more than $10,600 since Aug. 11. He carried over $4,470 and spent $7,280 in the last two months. He remains with $7,800 cash on hand. According to the report, most of McClement’s expenses were for marketing and advertising.
Democratic Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak, who is seeking re-election to a second consecutive term, was the highest-earning aldermanic candidate of the 10 listed on the ballot, with $5,480 in contributions since August. Kuzemchak also raised the most money of any aldermanic candidate before the primary.
“I think it’s important to raise money the whole way through,” she said.
Kuzemchak said most of her fundraising efforts have consisted of going door to door talking with constituents and getting her message out via social media and printed literature.
“Getting literature out is expensive,” she said. “Even with me knocking [on doors] a couple of nights a week, the literature, it has to be printed, and it’s expensive. But it’s truly the only way of getting the word out.”
Kuzemchak said she also has a big fundraising event Saturday that she expects will bring in a decent amount of money.
In August, Kuzemchak reported a little more than $10,000 in contributions, which was nearly twice as much as she brought in over the past two months. She carried over almost $6,000 and spent about $6,600 since August.
Following close behind Kuzemchak was Roger Wilson, who reported $5,115 in contributions since August.
“We sent out a newsletter weekly, and we’ve been getting small donations, which is good,” Wilson said. “We wanted to make sure we had broad participation from folks that have never participated in our political process, and our grassroots efforts are paying off.”
Wilson brought in $8,410 before the primary and carried over $146 to the current report. He spent just $652 over the last two months and has $9,529 cash on hand moving into the third reporting period, according to the report.
Not far behind Wilson is Democratic aldermanic candidate Ben MacShane, who reportedly raised $4,290 since August.
Next came the other two Democrats running for the Board of Aldermen: Derek Shackelford raised $3,730, and Alderwoman Kelly Russell brought in $2,695 over the last two months.
The five Republicans running for the Board of Aldermen all raised less than the Democrats. The candidates did not have a primary, as only five had filed at the close of the filing deadline in July.
Hayden Duke and Alan Imhoff topped the charts for the most money raised among their fellow party candidates, with Duke reporting $1,534 and Imhoff reporting a close $1,465 since August.
Republican candidate Bryan Chaney, who replaced Bruce Blatchley when the latter dropped out for health reasons a little more than a week after the primary, raised $550 since opening his campaign finance account in late September. He said he plans to submit an amended report in the coming days to show how much money he has spent, as his current report does not include that number. He also said he is planning fundraisers in the near future to raise more money in an effort to catch up with the other candidates.
The other two GOP candidates, Katie Bowersox and Nate Power, reportedly raised $200 each and have not spent any money.
Former Alderwoman Shelley Aloi, who lost to McClement in the Republican primary, has also spearheaded a nonpartisan write-in campaign and is continuing to raise and spend money within her open campaign finance account. Since August, she has raised $6,652 and spent $6,263. She carried over $2,628 in her first report.
The general election is Nov. 7, with early voting Oct. 27 and 28.
This story and accompanying More Information box have been updated to include Chaney's financial report, which was not available on the city's website before press time Monday.
This story and accompanying info have also been updated with corrected figures on Mayor Randy McClement's report.