Craig Giangrande (R) has funded his Maryland State Senate District 3 campaign at better than 30 times the amount of his primary challenger Councilman Billy Shreve (R).
Annual campaign finance reports filed this week show Giangrande with a cash balance of just over $100,000 in his campaign account while Shreve’s stood at $3,220.
Shreve said he was not concerned and hadn’t really begun fundraising. He planned to start in April, he said, adding that his focus now was on governing.
“I don’t need a lot of money to win this race,” he said.
Giangrande disagreed that the position could be won without a healthy campaign account. His was bolstered by a $56,650 loan to his own campaign, which he said was needed to take on “entrenched incumbent” Sen. Ron Young (D-District 3).
Young had $74,430 in his coffers, according to finance reports, and Giangrande expected that the Democratic Party and other well-heeled donors would be lending their support to help Young keep his spot. Last year, Young received $14,100 from other candidate committees and political action committees, according to his campaign finance report.
Republicans have targeted Young’s seat as one they might flip to red. Doing so would allow them to break a supermajority by Democrats in the Senate chamber.
“We wanted to show investment in the idea of accomplishing this goal. ... I figuratively and literally have invested in my campaign,” Giangrande said.
Sen. Michael Hough (R-District 4) said Shreve’s candidacy in the Senate race should end for the good of the Republican Party.
“It’s just creating a primary when the party doesn’t need one,” Hough said.
Shreve responded that Hough was entitled to his opinion, but he was not interested in what the senator had to say.
“I’ll listen to the voters,” Shreve said.
The finance reports show that Giangrande took in $27,697 in contributions from individual donors and $7,915 from tickets to fundraisers.
Young got $15,527 in contributions from individual donors.
Shreve garnered $1,901 in individual contributions, including $1,441 that was deposited by Delegate Mike McKay (R-Washington and Allegany), who hosted a joint fundraiser with Shreve in November.
— Kelsi Loos and Danielle E. Gaines
Delegate Kathy Afzali (R-District 4) has the largest bankroll in the Frederick County executive race, but her opponents say they’re not rattled.
Afzali has a campaign account balance of $101,866, according to her annual campaign finance report.
“Money isn’t everything, but it’s still a lot,” she said, adding that it can go a long way to help get her message out.
While a well-funded campaign can help turn an election, it doesn’t guarantee a win. Afzali noted that in the last election, Blaine Young, the Republican candidate for county executive in 2014, lost after raising around $1 million.
Afzali’s six-figure cash-on-hand balance compared with $13,603 and $11,334 cash balances by Republican challengers Councilman Kirby Delauter and Regina Williams, respectively.
Incumbent Jan Gardner has not officially announced she is running to keep her seat, but her filing showed she had $76,301 in the vault. The filing deadline for the election is Feb. 27.
There was less disparity in what the candidates collected as contributions. Gardner reported taking in about $57,800 in contributions from individual donors, while Afzali netted nearly $54,000. Delauter received about $52,000 and Williams reported around $35,200.
The candidates said they weren’t concerned about Afzali’s overall financial edge.
Williams said she was optimistic when she looked beyond the account balance to the details contained in the reports. Nearly $46,000 was already in Afzali’s campaign coffers before this year and the report shows that the delegate lent $20,000 to her campaign.
Afzali called the loan an investment in her message and her campaign. Williams donated nearly $1,800 to her own campaign.
“I am not concerned when it comes to the money,” Williams said, noting that a lot of her major outdoor advertising expenses, including $5,500 for rental of a box truck with a mobile billboard were already taken care of.
Gardner said it was still early in the campaign and she believed her fundraising has gone well so far.
“I feel like I’m in good shape,” she said.
Gardner also noted Afzali’s loan to her campaign, saying that was unusual in a county race.
Gardner’s largest single contribution, of $5,000, came from her husband.
Delauter’s spokesman, Cameron Harris, said Delauter was pleased by the number of small donors contributing to his campaign compared with the other candidates.
Harris noted that Delauter was the only one who hadn’t accepted a donation over $1,000. Harris said the campaign pledged not to do so. However, the campaign had accepted more than $1,000 — in separate checks — from at least one donor.
Delauter’s campaign clocked $12,000 in loans, coming from the candidate and some of his business interests.
— Kelsi Loos and Danielle E. Gaines
Senate District 4
Sen. Michael Hough (R-District 4) reported more than $93,000 in annual receipts, with more than $153,000 cash on hand.
He raised the third-largest amount among Republicans in the Maryland Senate chamber, behind only Minority Leader J.B. Jennings (R-Harford) and Minority Whip Stephen S. Hershey Jr. (R-Upper Shore).
Just over $16,000 of Hough’s haul came from political action committees or other candidate committees.
He plans to share the wealth. The senator will focus first on his own re-election campaign, but also anticipates donating to the Republican slate accounts for the Senate and House of Delegates.
Hough is the only candidate registered with the Maryland State Board of Elections in the race.
— Danielle E. Gaines
House District 3
In the District 3B race for House of Delegates, two candidates have filed to be on the ballot: incumbent Delegate William Folden (R) and Frederick County Board of Education member Ken Kerr (D).
Folden reported nearly $36,000 in receipts during the past year, with nearly the same amount left in his bank account.
Kerr switched his campaign entity to the race for the 3B seat, and the campaign account reflected a total of $5,224.93 raised — $3,200 of which had been contributed by Congressman Jamie Raskin (D), personally and through his federal campaign committee.
District 3B includes southwestern portions of the county.
Delegate Karen Lewis Young (D) was the biggest fundraiser in the race to represent District 3A, which includes the city of Frederick.
Lewis Young reported more than $23,000 in new receipts, which includes $3,000 in donations from other candidates in Maryland and $8,550 from political action committees. She has more than $56,000 cash on hand.
The district’s other incumbent, Delegate Carol Krimm (D), reported the second-highest campaign coffer, with more than $9,500 in individual contributions, including $2,700 that came from other elected officials.
James Dvorak, a Republican candidate in the District 3A race, raised just over $1,000 since he announced his candidacy in late August.
Ryan Trout, a Democrat who once worked in Annapolis for Sen. Ron Young (D-District 3), now wants to work alongside his Democratic colleagues. Trout filed to enter the race back in November, but will hold an official campaign kickoff in the next few weeks. He’s raised $3,175, including a $1,000 loan to himself. Trout’s campaign had $89.60 in the bank, as of the reporting date.
— Danielle E. Gaines and Allen Etzler
House District 4
Two candidates for Maryland’s 4th Legislative District kick-started their campaigns with significant loans to themselves, pulling them ahead of other contenders in financing.
Republican Jesse Pippy, the current chairman of the Frederick County liquor board, has injected $12,500 into his campaign since he entered the race in August — more than half of his current cash balance of $23,410.79. Incumbent Delegate Barrie Ciliberti (R) also contributed $10,000 in personal loans to his campaign. His total balance stands at $16,372.42, according to campaign finance reports.
A total of five candidates have registered for the 4th District race as of Jan. 19. Some names are familiar, including Pippy, Ciliberti and Dan Cox, a Republican candidate who lost the 2016 8th Congressional District race to Raskin (D).
Cox has raised a total of $20,808, including a $4,313 loan he personally contributed to his campaign. His total contributions from individual donors were higher than any other candidate, at $12,495, and included $4,000 from the Andy Harris for Congress campaign.
Cox’s total expenditures were also higher than his colleagues at $14,564.90, including $70 in fingerprinting services for handgun security clearance, according to his campaign finance report.
Incumbent Delegate David Vogt (R) also submitted a finance campaign report, which showed a total cash balance of $5,857.19. He announced his candidacy in December, but still has yet to file with the state of Maryland. He said he plans to register within the next week.
Two new candidates also announced their candidacies. One is Democratic candidate Darrin Smith, a Libertytown resident and high school English teacher at the Maryland School for the Deaf.
Smith, who also serves as president of the Baltimore Black Deaf Activists, filed an affidavit that reflected less than $1,000 in fundraising.
After the campaign finance reporting period, Ysela Bravo registered as a Democratic candidate on Friday.
— Kate Masters
Candidates vying for the two at-large Frederick County Council seats proved the top fundraisers across all council races thus far.
Newcomer Danny Farrar, who began raising money in 2016 for a Maryland House of Delegates seat before landing on a bid for an at-large council seat on the Republican ticket, led the pack with $20,994. He has also spent more than any of his opponents — $10,535 — which comes out to roughly half of his fundraising total.
Former city Alderman Phil Dacey, who is also running as a Republican for an at-large council seat, trails close behind Farrar with $17,310 in contributions reported. Dacey has reported the most cash on hand with $20,447 and minimal expenses. According to his report, he carried over a prior balance of $5,550.
Council President Bud Otis (unaffiliated), who was the top vote-getter in the at-large race in 2014, has not yet announced if he will enter the 2018 race. If he does seek re-election, it will again be for an at-large seat, he wrote in an email Thursday. He intended to make his decision at the end of February closer to the filing deadline, he wrote. Otis’ existing account did not have financial activity of more than $1,000 in the last year, according to the affidavit filed.
Councilman Jerry Donald (D) brought in just over $12,900 in his bid to represent District 1 for another term, far surpassing the $1,100 raised by Republican competitor Dylan Diggs. Donald highlighted that his contributions were made by local donors in small increments. The largest contribution, of $1,200, was made by his father, Carl Donald. He also received a $200 donation from John Gardner, husband of County Executive Jan Gardner (D).
The District 2 race was led by Republican challenger Steve McKay. The Monrovia resident, best known as president of RALE, raked in $5,900.
Councilman Tony Chmelik, who confirmed plans to seek re-election, intended to file an affidavit for lack of financial activity after mistakenly filing a report that reflected transactions from 2014, 2015 and 2016. The updated affidavit, as well as amendments to his prior years’ financial statements, were not available as of Friday.
Fellow District 2 candidate Cedric Cole (R), of Urbana, also filed an affidavit that his campaign did not have more than $1,000 of financial activity. Cole, a retail sales manager for Bank of America in Frederick, said he intends to start fundraising next month.
Council Vice President M.C. Keegan-Ayer (D) and Councilwoman Jessica Fitzwater (D) both confirmed they intend to seek re-election to their respective District 3 and 4 seats, although they have not filed candidacy papers yet. No other candidates have entered either race, according to the State Board of Elections website as of Friday.
Republican William Valentine, a Frederick County resident and lieutenant with the Westminster Police Department, remained the sole contender who has filed for candidacy in the District 5 race as of Friday. A $2,000 candidate loan constituted the entirety of Valentine’s fundraising to date.
Jennifer Charlton (R) and Linda Norris-Waldt (D), who both ran for County Council at-large seats in the 2014 election, also had open campaign finance accounts as of the Wednesday filing. Both confirmed in phone interviews that they do not intend to seek election in 2018 and will close the accounts.
— Nancy Lavin and Mallory Panuska
Board of Education
Only three people have filed for the Board of Education’s four open seats.
Current board members April Miller, Colleen Cusimano and Liz Barrett each closed their campaign accounts, and have not yet filed to run for re-election.
Board President Brad Young has filed for re-election, but was not required to file a report by Jan. 17, because he filed for election on Jan. 5. His campaign account was open for only a couple of days, and was not open during the required recording period. He added that he had not begun raising funds for his campaign.
“There have been no transactions made yet,” Young said.
Camden Raynor filed a campaign finance report that reflected one contribution of $100.
Edison Hatter filed an affidavit indicating he would not receive contributions or expenditures accumulating to more than $1,000.
Current board member Mike Bunitsky has an open campaign finance account that currently has $262.45 in it. His term expires in 2020.
Shirley McDonald and Cindy Rose each have open campaign finance accounts, but have not filed to run in this year’s election. McDonald’s account has a cash balance of zero, and Rose’s account has a negative $48.19 balance.
Lois Jarman, a Democrat who ran for the board in 2016 but dropped out before the general election, established a new campaign finance committee earlier this month. She filed an affidavit indicating less than $1,000 of financial activity in the past year.
— Allen Etzler and Nancy Lavin
Frederick County’s courthouse elections are currently uncontested. Incumbents Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith, Register of Wills Sharon Keller and Orphans’ Court Judge Nate Wilson are all currently running unopposed.
Smith reported raising $23,125 in campaign donations. At least $2,100 of Smith’s donations were made by attorneys working in the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Wilson has so far collected $100 for his re-election campaign.
Register of Wills Sharon Keller filed an affidavit indicating less than $1,000 of financial activity by her campaign in the past year.
— Cameron Dodd