Hayden funds rank 2nd, behind Mintz Finance reports show wide range

November 12, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

Baltimore County Executive Roger B. Hayden's political TC treasury has grown considerably since his shoestring 1990 election campaign, but his total is only second among those of his potential rivals for the job in 1994.

Pikesville's County Councilman Melvin G. Mintz, D-2nd, is sitting on a $204,567 campaign fund, according to finance reports filed Monday, as compared with Mr. Hayden's total of $197,399.

Council Chairman Charles A. Dutch Ruppersberger III, the only Democrat who is already campaigning to unseat Mr. Hayden next year, reported $133,694 on hand. That total will undoubtedly grow soon -- the 3rd District Democrat has scheduled the first of a series of $250-per-ticket breakfast fund-raisers Nov. 30.

Sen. Nancy L. Murphy of District 12, another Democrat who's weighing the race, reported only $15,405. But she said she will have a $100-a-ticket fund-raiser before the legislature convenes in January.

No one, including Mr. Hayden, has officially declared his candidacy, and the filing deadline is not until July. But the early maneuvering has begun.

The potential wild-card candidate in the September Democratic primary hasn't raised a dollar, and he has no plans to raise any money soon.

District Judge John C. Coolahan, known as the "Lion of Halethorpe" in his days as the west side's popular state senator, plans to retire from the bench next spring. He said recently that friends are urging him to run for county executive again. He ran and lost in the 1978 Democratic primary that brought Donald P. Hutchinson into office.

As a judge barred by law from political activities, he refuses to discuss politics now, and said he is scrupulously abiding by the restrictions on his office.

The surprise so far among Democrats is the absence of a strong candidate from the county's long-dominant east side.

No significant Republicans have appeared to challenge Mr. Hayden's expected bid for re-election. The executive has a fund-raiser scheduled for Sunday in Dundalk, but at $15 a ticket, it's designed more to encourage supporters on his home ground than to raise money.

Without a Republican contest, Democrats could face a contentious, expensive primary while Mr. Hayden saves his money and charm for unhappy supporters of the Democratic losers in the general election.

However, Ms. Murphy said she isn't worried about primary damage among the Democrats. "I don't think it will be a down-and-dirty contest," she said.

Mr. Mintz, a two-term councilman, and Ms. Murphy, a 10-year veteran legislator, are so far only flirting with the idea of running countywide.

Both have conducted polls, and both report they are encouraged by the results.

Ms. Murphy began working as a $30,800-a-year county school system attendance officer in September. She will take an unpaid leave of absence to attend the General Assembly session from January though April, school officials said.

She said she now has to see whether she can raise enough money to make a race.

Mr. Mintz, who has a good start on fund raising, said he will wait at least until January to decide. His primary bid would rely on his home area's record as a high-turnout district with a large Democratic population, giving him an edge over Mr. Ruppersberger, whose north county district has fewer Democrats.

It is no coincidence, therefore, that Mr. Ruppersberger's first fund-raising breakfast will be at the Pikesville Hilton hotel. The council chairman is a former assistant state's attorney who has served on the council since 1985.

Mr. Ruppersberger has kept a low political profile during his second term as County Council chairman, but has worked hard behind the scenes, visiting political clubs and community groups and wooing financial backers.

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