11th-hour Spending Wins For Neall, Not For Leopold

Executive-elect Shells Out $92,000 In Campaign's Final Two Weeks

November 28, 1990|By Elise Armacost | Elise Armacost,Staff writer

County executive-elect Robert R. Neall spent more than $92,000 in the last two weeks of the 1990 campaign, bringing his total campaign expenditures to a record $460,000.

Campaign reports filed Tuesday with state elections officials show Neall poured thousands of dollars into television advertising, glossy brochures and direct mailings in the final days of his hard-fought race against Democrat Theodore J. Sophocleus.

From Oct. 21 to Nov. 9, the reports show, Neall spent $15,170 on media advertising, $33,745 on campaign materials, $13,623 on postage and $8,491 on direct mailings.

Sophocleus' financial disclosure forms were not available at press time because they had not been delivered to the state Board of Elections in Annapolis. Sophocleus lost to Neall Nov. 6 by about 3,000 votes, finishing with 49 percent of the vote, compared to 51 percent for the Republican.

David Almy, Neall's campaign manager, said the campaign planned for massive last-minute expenditures because the contest was so close.

"Most people make up their minds in the last two weeks, so you spend like a demon," Almy said.

Neall's biggest single expenditure during the last reporting period was $23,378 to the Whitmore Printing Co. of Annapolis for 97,000 large, glossy, fold-out brochures.

He paid $9,955 to WJZ-TV for advertising; $1,743 to WBAL-TV; $1,437 to Jones Intercable of Gambrills and $2,050 to various companies that produced TV ads.

For his election night party at the Annapolis Holiday Inn, Neall spent $2,427 on catering, $350 for a band and $405 for party supplies.

"It's exceptionally expensive to run one of these campaigns," Almy said, adding that cost is a growing concern of most political hopefuls. "It's probably the single most debilitating job of a campaign to raise money. . .

. How do you look somebody in the eye and say, 'Give me $1,000?' " Neall raised a total of $475,000 -- slightly more than Almy hoped for when the campaign began. He added $62,400 in the last two weeks of the campaign, including $27,782 in cash contributions and $21,100 in ticket sales.

Neall also raked in $5,350 from political action committees in the last two weeks, including $3,000 from the ABC of Southern Maryland PAC, which represents builders and contractors.

Sophocleus had reported spending $263,000 as of Oct. 21.

Considering the ailing economy, "I think we did exceptionally well," Almy said. "That was an awful lot of money to have found."

Candidates for County Council spent considerably less money. Except for two incumbents -- Edward C. "Buddy" Ahern, D-Pasadena, and David G.

Boschert, D-Crownsville -- who spent unusually large sums, the average council candidate spent $20,000 to $25,000.

Councilman Edward C. "Buddy" Ahern -- who lost his bid for a fifth term in the 3rd District -- reported raising $90,000, using all but $1,950 of it. His victorious Republican opponent, Carl G. Holland, spent less than one-sixth of that -- $14,000.

Boschert was the top fund-raiser with $99,000. Of that, he spent $73,884 in a campaign where he faced just one nearly unknown primary election opponent. He was unopposed in the general election.

Boschert has $25,338 left.

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