Ecker continues to lead in fund-raising CAMPAIGN 1994

September 07, 1994|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Sun Staff Writer

Democratic challengers Susan B. Gray and Sue-Ellen Hantman continue to scramble for financial crumbs while County Executive Charles I. Ecker feasts on fund-raising riches, election board records show.

During the most recent reporting period -- Aug. 10 to Aug. 28 -- the Republican incumbent raised what for him was a paltry $910 in cash. That sum, added to $3,360 in in-kind contributions, brought his total for the 19-day period to $4,270. Reports for the most recent period were due Friday.

Mr. Ecker's in-kind contributions were for supplies, services and the rental fee for his Ho-Down at the Circle D ranch in Cooksville. Altogether, Mr. Ecker has raised $222,923 since the November 1990 election and spent $150,139. He has a cash balance of $72,784.

He spent more on polling recently -- $8,000 on Aug. 14 -- than Ms. Gray has raised in her entire campaign. His one-day expenditures of $8,553 on Aug. 25 -- $2,305 for campaign shirts and caps; $6,248 for cable television commercials -- nearly equals the $8,603 Ms. Hantman has raised. Ms. Hantman collected $815 in the last reporting period and spent $658 for postage and printing.

Ms. Gray collected $1,610 in the last reporting period, to bring her overall total to $7,325. Numbered among her recent campaign gifts was a $1,000 check from a resident of Key Biscayne, Fla. Ms. Gray has spent $5,898, including $2,175 in the last reporting period.

Mr. Ecker's liberal use of polling and cable television commercials helped propel him to an upset victory four years ago over Democratic incumbent Elizabeth Bobo.

Retired businessman Riaz H. Rana, a Republican running for a west Columbia County Council seat vacated by Democrat Paul R. Farragut, is one of the many candidates imitating that strategy. Mr. Rana's recent spending includes $2,000 for polling services and $1,190 for cable television commercials. He has also spent $920 on newspaper advertisements.

Mr. Rana faces federal retiree Robert E. O'Brien and nursing professor Mary Ann Wilkinson in the GOP primary. He has chosen to pay for his campaign himself rather than seek contributions and has put $15,000 into his campaign, $10,000 in the latest reporting period.

Mr. O'Brien has signed a waiver saying he will raise and spend less than $300 on his campaign. Ms. Wilkinson, the choice of GOP regulars, raised $2,420 in the recent reporting period, bringing her overall total to $4,423. Among her contributors were Mr. Ecker and his wife Peggy, who gave $250, and Hugh J. Forton, former executive secretary to the County Council, who gave $200. Ms. Wilkinson also received $100 from the campaign treasury of Councilman Charles C. Feaga, R-5th.

Democrat James B. Kraft, who is running in the Democratic the primary against Mary C. Lorsung, Mr. Farragut's aide, received a $2,000 campaign boost from developer Donald R. Reuwer Jr. Mr. Reuwer and his wife Deborah sent Mr. Kraft a check for $1,000 Aug. 19. One of Mr. Reuwer's subsidiaries, the R/E Group, sent Mr. Kraft another $1,000 the same day. Mr. Kraft has raised $11,615 overall and spent $9,889. His most recent bills include $2,761 for newspaper ads and $350 for cable commercials.

Ms. Lorsung raised $370 of her $3,735 total in the last reporting period. She spent $689 during that time, mostly on campaign materials, and has spent $2,328 overall. She shows a balance of $2,328.

In the other contested council primary, east Columbia incumbent Democrat C. Vernon Gray received $200 in the recent reporting period, to bring his overall total to $69,502. The council chairman spent $5,968 during that time. He gave $400 to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Parris N. Glendening and $200 to William Whetstone, a candidate for the local Democratic Central Committee.

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