Gray leads fund raising in council races CAMPAIGN 1994

August 17, 1994|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Sun Staff Writer

If County Council Chairman C. Vernon Gray can draw voters the way he attracts dollars, the three candidates hoping to unseat the three-term incumbent are in for a big disappointment.

A campaign finance report Mr. Gray filed with state and local election boards yesterday showed that the Democrat raised $26,107 in the last year and $69,302 overall for his re-election campaign.

Among his contributions were $2,000 from S&S Transportation of Baltimore, $3,000 from two Cockeysville residents and $1,650 from Hunan Manor restaurant in Columbia.

Candidates were required to file the first of two pre-primary campaign finance reports yesterday. The reports covered the period from last November through Aug. 9.

Former Planning Board Chairwoman Kathryn Mann, Mr. Gray's opponent in the Sept. 13 primary, reported raising $3,225. That total includes a $500 gift from her parents and contributions of $100 each from Grace Kubofcik, a one-time aide to former County Executive M. Elizabeth Bobo, and Lloyd Knowles, Ms. Bobo's husband.

Board of Appeals member Evelyn L. Tanner, who switched parties to run as a Republican against Gary Prestianni in hopes of challenging Mr. Gray or Ms. Mann in the general election, reported raising $1,725. Most of that was a $1,000 contribution from Hugh J. Forton, former executive secretary of the council. Mr. Prestianni's report was unavailable.

The only council candidate who came anywhere near Mr. Gray in fund raising is two-term incumbent Charles C. Feaga, a 5th District Republican, who collected $18,752 in the last year and $42,129 overall.

Mr. Feaga's largest contribution -- $1,000 -- came from Maryland Avenue Property. He also received $800 from Kathleen Harrison. Like Mr. Gray, Mr. Feaga received several contributions in the $400 to $500 range from developers and business people.

Highland activist John W. Taylor, who lost to Mr. Feaga in the Republican primary four years ago, will face him in the general election as a Democrat. Mr. Taylor reported raising $7,344 in the last year. Impressive as Mr. Gray's numbers are, they pale beside the sum Republican County Executive Charles I. Ecker reported raising -- $110,970 in the last year and $218,653 overall -- for his re-election bid. Mr. Ecker's fund raising far outstripped that of the Democrats seeking his post:

* Susan B. Gray, a political activist making her first try for public office, reported raising $5,715, including a $3,000 loan from her husband.

* Sue-Ellen Hantman, a former Democratic Central Committee chairwoman and the choice of party regulars, reported raising $7,700.

Both entered the race late. Ms. Gray barely beat the July 5 filing deadline; Ms. Hantman filed in late June. Ms. Gray reported having $1,922 left for her primary run; Ms. Hantman $6,700.

Mr. Ecker, who does not have a primary opponent, reported a cash balance of $91,316.

The $218,653 he has raised so far is a stunning reversal from 1990 when he had to lend his campaign $30,000 to fend off a Republican challenger to gain the right to face Ms. Bobo in the general election.

Four years ago, Mr. Ecker could raise only $85,253, including the money he lent himself.

Democrat Rosemary Mortimer of Columbia is another candidate to give herself a loan. Ms. Mortimer, who faces Ms. Bobo and lawyer Ethel Hill in the primary for a House of Delegates seat -- has lent her campaign $27,500. Including the loan, she reported a total of $42,887 and has a balance of $1,109.

Ms. Bobo, who attracted $156,285 for her failed re-election bid in 1990, continues to thrive in fund raising. She reported collecting $10,771 in the last year and had $33,828 on hand. She has a balance of $22,917.

Campaign reports for Ms. Hill were unavailable.

In the County Council races, the top three fund-raisers were incumbents. Incumbent Darrell Drown ranks third, behind Mr. Gray and Mr. Feaga.

Mr. Drown, who does not have any opposition in the primary, reported raising $11,115 in the last year. His largest contribution, $500, came from Imports of Naples.

Mr. Drown reported having $6,028 on hand for his race against Board of Appeals Chairman George L. Layman in the Nov. 8 general election.

Mr. Layman, a Democratic Central Committee member, reported raising $3,336 and spending all save for $234.

Republican Dennis R. Schrader, who narrowly lost to incumbent Shane Pendergrass in the 1990 election, reported raising

incumbent-like dollars for his run against former Columbia Council Chairman Charles A. Acquard. Mr. Schrader collected $9,348 in the last year to add to a $26,466 campaign treasury. After expenses, he reported $19,835 on hand for his campaign.

Mr. Acquard reported raising $7,447, including $1,210 he gave to his campaign and $1,000 he received from a relative in Texas. Mr. Acquard showed a balance of $4,065.

James B. Kraft, a former Democratic Central Committee member seeking the seat being vacated by Councilman Paul R. Farragut, D-4th, reported raising $5,640 this year to add to $2,690 he had raised previously. He showed a balance of $2,490.

His opponent in the primary, Columbia activist Mary C. Lorsung, who is Mr. Farragut's legislative assistant, reported raising $3,467 and spending $1,639.

Two of the three Republicans competing for the 4th Council District nomination reported pouring several thousand dollars of their own money into their campaigns. Riaz H. Rana and his wife have given $5,000 to his campaign. He has a balance of $744. Mary Ann Wilkinson lent herself $2,003 and listed debts of $892.

Campaign reports for Robert E. O'Brien were unavailable.

Candidates are required to file another campaign finance report on Sept. 2.

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