School board campaign is a low-budget effort Candidates are keeping fund raising to minimum

February 29, 1996|By Howard Libit | Howard Libit,SUN STAFF

The Howard County school board campaign continues to be a low-cost affair, with fund raising by the five candidates totaling less than $6,000, according to the most recent financial reports filed in Annapolis and Ellicott City.

Four of the five candidates still are paying for at least half their own campaign expenses. Spending records show almost all the money is being spent on fliers, mailings, T-shirts and posters.

The five are seeking to replace Susan Cook, the school board chairwoman, who is leaving the board after a six-year term. The top two vote-getters in Tuesday's nonpartisan primary will face off in the November election.

Candidate Francine Wishnick of Columbia remains the fund-raising leader with $1,900 collected through Feb. 18. Ms. Wishnick also is the only candidate to have attracted much outside financial support.

Ms. Wishnick has received money from half the 10-member Columbia Council -- to which she was elected for three years -- including $35 each from Chairwoman Karen Kuecker and Vice Chairman David Berson.

Another board candidate, Jane Schuchardt, has raised $1,710, including a $1,500 personal loan. Her $210 in outside donations includes small contributions from Howard teachers with whom she worked during her 25 years in the system.

A third board candidate, Virginia Charles -- who has been overseas on a trip with her husband for most of this month -- raised no more money since Jan. 30. She has contributed $1,100 of the $1,180 raised by her campaign so far.

Candidate Arthur Neal Willoughby has collected $713 so far, according to a copy of his financial statement supplied by his campaign. Mr. Willoughby's funds include a personal loan of $483 and a $100 contribution from state Sen. Martin G. Madden, a Republican who represents east Columbia and southeastern Howard.

Candidate Vincent Pugliese has vowed to keep his campaign spending under $300, and so is not required to file a statement.

The fund raising of all five candidates is substantially less than the money collected in the 1994 race for two board seats.

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