Spending ramped up significantly among State House candidates in the last two months, according to final campaign finance reports before the general election Nov. 6.
No candidate fighting for a position in the Frederick County delegation spent more than Sen. Michael Hough (R-District 4), who spent nearly $100,000 between Aug. 22 and Oct. 21.
Hough’s coffers remain healthy, with more than $25,000 on hand. But the first-term senator spent $24,000 on radio advertisements in an effort to win a second term, according to campaign finance reports. Hough has also infused cash into several other campaigns to help other Republicans earn seats throughout the state.
Hough contributed $46,000 to the Senate Republican Caucus Committee alone. He gave an additional $13,000 to the Frederick County Republican Victory Slate, which came under fire last week for circulating a flyer stating that nearly 60 calls to the county’s 911 call center went unanswered with Jan Gardner (D) as county executive.
Hough’s opponent, Democrat Jessica Douglass, collected $20,325 and spent about $19,000, according to her finance report filing.
Hough brought in more than $28,000 in individual contributions, including two contributions of $2,000 from John Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Auto Mall, and Dustin Freas of Flagship Rehabilitation in Cumberland. Fox Rothschild LLP, a law firm in Philadelphia, and The Presidential Coalition LLC, a PAC that is registered as an arm of Citizens United, also contributed $2,000 each to Hough’s campaign.
The Presidential Coalition LLC also made a significant contribution to Craig Giangrande, who is running against Sen. Ron Young (D-District 3) for his seat. The District 3 Senate race is viewed around the state as one of the most hotly contested, and the candidates have the spending to prove it. The two have spent more than $96,000 combined in the last two months, much of which has funded attack ads against each other.
Giangrande, who has loaned himself more than $85,000 for his campaign, pumped $28,000 into funding TV ads attacking Young’s record in the Senate. Young responded in kind by spending approximately $27,000 to send out mailers to voters. Young also contributed about $9,000 to other Democratic candidates.
Republicans have also outspent Democrats in each of the races for House of Delegates, as they try to maintain control of the state delegation. Delegate William Folden (R-District 3B) spent big in his re-election bid. He spent more than $35,000 in this reporting period, about $27,000 of which went to printing brochures and campaign materials, according to his campaign finance report.
While Folden’s opponent, Democrat Ken Kerr, raised more during the same time frame, Kerr only spent about $1,600, according to his finance report. Kerr, who is currently on the Frederick County Board of Education, has $25,558.70 on hand, according to his campaign finance report.
Mike Bowersox, a candidate for House of Delegates District 3A, outspent both of his opponents, incumbents Carol Krimm and Karen Lewis Young, combined. Bowersox used $29,000 for a last-minute mailing rush in an effort to unseat one of the two Democrats.
Early voting continues through Thursday, and Election Day is Nov. 6.