For those of you in the politerati, you knew that the 2017 annual Maryland campaign finance report is due. And many campaign finance reports are already available online!
While in the primary race of most local HoCo import, the Democratic primary in Howard County Council, District 3, only one of the four candidates has filed their report and had it published online, for the Maryland Governor's race, four of the eight Democratic challengers' reports have been posted. And the results are most astounding!
As of this writing, still looking for the campaign finance reports from Ben Jealous, Jim Shea, and Krish Vignarajah. Oh, and Ralph Jaffe. But, of the four candidates whose reports do appear online, there is quite a horse race!
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz leads the field with $1.066M raised. But very close behind is tech entrepreneur and former Hillary Clinton and Obama Administration figure Alec Ross, with $1.057M raised. Then comes Prince Georges County Executive Rushern Baker with $1.053M raised, and Delegate Rich Madaleno with $440K raised.
The big story here is the amazing performance of Alec Ross. He is standing toe to toe in campaign financing with two sitting County Executives with long histories in elected office. This will allow the Ross campaign to share its message statewide and with the voters it's going to need to prevail in this eight-way primary.
In terms of cash on hand, Kamenetz leads with $2.002M on hand, though $1.619M of that was carried over from prior reports. Baker has $696K on hand with $250K carryover, Ross has $445K on hand, and Madaleno has $193K on hand with $73K carryover.
The cash on hand issue is a bit of a daunting one for newcomer Ross. One would expect Kamenetz and Baker (and I am presuming at least Jealous will have similar numbers) to keep raising money hard and it'll be hard for a newcomer to keep up. But, there are strategies other than raising truckloads of money. Grassroots support and ground game matters, and that's what Ross, or any of the candidates, will have to muster effectively in terms to overcome the cash advantage and fundraising expertise of the sitting County Executives in the race.
Speaking of Ross, he is having a meet and greet in Howard County on Tuesday, January 23rd. You can see more about it here.
So this is a very interesting story developing in this, the first part of the first chapter of the story of the Making of Maryland's Governor, 2018!
Let's be careful out there.