Incumbents stay ahead financially

August 19, 1994|By James M. Coram and Adam Sachs | James M. Coram and Adam Sachs,Sun Staff Writers

Incumbents and old-line politicians running for House of Delegates seats in five Howard County races have plenty of money left 24 days before the primary -- it's the newcomers who don't -- campaign reports show.

"It's a statement of how confident they are of winning the primary" that they still have large sums of money in the bank, says Robert H. Kittleman, House minority whip.

Asked if he could be talking about himself and fellow GOP incumbent Robert L. Flanagan, the District 14B veteran said, "I guess you could say that."

Mr. Kittleman and Mr. Flanagan are being challenged in the Republican primary by John B. Clark. Mr. Clark raised $2,800 in the past nine months compared to only $125 raised by Mr. Flanagan.

But Mr. Flanagan, who flirted briefly with the idea of running for attorney general, has $24,552 in the bank. Mr. Clark has only $725 left.

Mr. Kittleman has a campaign nest egg of $6,953.

Andrew D. Levy and Carolyn Willis were the leading fund-raisers among the five Democrats vying for the seats now held by Mr. Flanagan and Mr. Kittleman. Mr. Levy raised $4,328 including a $1,000 loan to himself and a $1,000 gift from a relative. He has a balance of $2,773.

Ms. Willis raised $4,325, including $4,000 she gave, and shows a balance of $1,116.

Teresa M. Rush, who put $693 into her campaign, raised $1,133 for her 14B run and shows a balance of $399. Bushrod W. Hopkins, a supporter of political maverick Lyndon LaRouche, raised $650. He has $144 left. Richard E. Crabb filed a waiver indicating he will raise and spend less than $300.

If Mr. Kittleman is right that candidates who have a lot of money left the month before the primary Sept. 13 are confident of winning, then pencil in Del. Kenneth H. Masters and Del. Louis P. Morsberger in the Democratic primary in 12A, former County Executive M. Elizabeth Bobo in the Democratic primary in 12B, and County Councilwoman Shane Pendergrass and former Orphans' Court Judge Frank S. Turner in the Democratic primary in 13A.

Campaign finance reports, which candidates were required to file this week for the previous nine months, indicate that these candidates are still flush and their opponents hurting. (Candidates whose balances exceed income had collected money for their campaigns before November.)

Some say the hefty balances are not so much a sign of confidence as a reflection of conventional political wisdom: raise money early and spend it late.

That appears to be the trend in all five House races. In District 12A, for example, Democratic incumbents Masters and Morsberger, both from Catonsville, have raised comparatively little since last November, but have a much larger balance in their war chests than the seven candidates seeking to unseat them.

Mr. Masters, the House majority leader, raised $2,966, but has a campaign balance of $8,885. Mr. Morsberger, who is seeking a sixth term in the House, raised $3,250 and boasts an $8,784 balance.

Democratic challenger James E. Malone Jr. raised far more than any other 12A candidate -- $19,669 -- but has spent nearly all of it. He has only $2,268 left.

Democrat C. Richard Mencken raised $10,056, but has only $3,832 left. The fifth Democrat in the race, Paul C. Bird Sr., signed a waiver indicating he would raise and spend less than $300.

Among Republicans in 12A, Martin Manescu raised the most money since November -- $8,241. He also has the largest balance -- $2,267 -- among the four GOP hopefuls.

Donald E. Murphy raised $6,827 that includes a $500 loan to himself and has $2,022 left. Donald Drehoff raised $5,699 -- he has $1,362 left -- and Dennis Lanahan raised $3,608 and has $352 left.

A similar pattern exists in District 12B where Ms. Bobo boasts a balance of $22,918 after raising $10,771 during the reporting period.

Challenger Ethel B. Hill, who raised $23,303, has $8,793 left. Rosemary E. S. Mortimer, who has lent her campaign $27,500, has only $1,009 left.

Republican Charles E. Scott, who will face the 12B primary winner in November, has raised $4,612, including gifts of $1,000 each from himself and from his father.

Ms. Pendergrass raised $14,357 for her 13A race and shows a balance of $21,514, far exceeding that of any of her Democratic primary challengers.

Mr. Turner raised the largest amount of any 13A candidate during the reporting period -- $20,884 -- and has the second-best bank balance -- $11,442.

Wanda Hurt raised $12,267 including some in-kind contributions of her paintings, but shows a balance of only $147. Pearl Atkinson-Stewart raised $2,262 including $1,500 she lent her campaign, and shows a balance of $1,229. Robert Ardinger raised $4,104, including a $3,604 gift from himself. He shows a balance of $413. James Fitzgerald signed a waiver indicating he would raise and spend less than $300.

Among Republicans running in 13A, only Michael Grasso indicates fund-raising activity. He raised $4,248 and has $2,735 in the bank. Charles H. Fiege Jr. has not raised any money. Figures for Kenneth Miller were unavailable.

In District 13B, Democrat Joseph R. Robison raised $6,998 including a $3,000 loan to himself and a gift of $1,363. He has $4,111 in the bank. John Giannetti Jr. raised $3,822, including a $958 loan to himself, and has a balance of $703.

Republican incumbent John S. Morgan, who does not have a primary battle in 13B, raised $6,845, which, with his previous total, gives him $7,752 for the general election.

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