Even at $298 a vote, candidate lost

September 27, 1994|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun Staff Writer

Towson Republican Deboul "Jay" Kim spent $59,000 in his unsuccessful, media-driven primary election campaign for the House of Delegates -- a net cost of $298 for each of the 198 votes he received.

"Holy mackerel!" said James M. Kelly, the winner of the District 9B Republican primary, when he learned how much his opponent had spent.

Mr. Kelly raised $11,959 and spent about $8,000, or slightly more than $6 a vote for each of the 1,260 votes he received. He will face Democratic nominee Stephen W. Lafferty in the general election.

In a campaign finance report submitted to the Baltimore County elections board office in Parkville on Sept. 19, Mr. Kim, 21, reported spending $37,771 of his own money and an additional $135 in donations since mid-August, when he had reported raising $20,000.

Mr. Kim, who could not be reached for comment, still owes $1,250 to a Fairfax, Va., printing company. He also was assessed $220 in late filing fees by the state board of elections for tardy reports.

The Los Angeles area native spent $30,672 on a series of radio and television commercials aired on local stations -- a tactic that many other politicians viewed as overkill in a small, one-delegate subdistrict.

In the final few weeks of the campaign, Mr. Kim also spent $6,847 for the printing of brochures touting a tough stance on crime and $2,631 for postage to mail them.

But the money -- mostly from his own pocket and contributions from family and friends in California -- couldn't overcome the questions about his background.

His claims -- that he was a Johns Hopkins University graduate and a student at the Hopkins medical school -- proved false. An effort to prove he was a medical student by supplying a reporter with the Social Security number of a Hopkins medical student named Kim backfired when school officials said the number belonged to a different person.

While Mr. Kim had been an undergraduate student at Hopkins, he was forced to leave the school in September 1993 after a finding by the Undergraduate Academic Ethics Board that he had submitted fraudulent grade change forms for five science courses he took in 1991 and 1992. He was barred from the university for two years.

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