Holders of officesget most donations Finance reports show incumbents raise far more than opponents

July 30, 1997|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Andrea F. Siegel contributed to this article.

Name recognition isn't the only thing incumbents have over their potential challengers in this year's Annapolis city elections.

The incumbents also have raised and spent more money. Lots of it, compared with most of their little-known opponents, who filed campaign finance reports yesterday that showed empty coffers.

For example, Samuel Gilmer, a Democratic alderman from Ward 3, raised $5,282.66, spent $2,000 for a May 27 fund-raiser and slightly more than $2,000 more in postage, printing and other expenses, according to his report filed with the city Board of Elections. He has $873 left, the report shows.

Democrat Classie G. Hoyle, one of Gilmer's opponents in the Sept. 9 primary, listed a loan of $300, and Joyce R. Hunt, another primary opponent, filed a report showing zero dollars in her campaign account. Republican Steven C. Kerstetter did not file a report.

With contested ballots in five of the city's eight wards -- although not necessarily in each party -- fund raising is only beginning, the challengers said.

Among mayoral candidates, Alderman Carl O. Snowden topped out at $74,673 as the leading fund-raiser in a heated race for mayor against two Democrats and three Republicans.

"Not only have we raised more money than the others, we've got a larger base of support from Annapolitans all across the city," said Snowden, a Democrat who represents Ward 5. "I'm very pleased with the broad base of support we've gotten from the grass roots, business and professional level."

He promised more campaign literature and television advertisements in the coming weeks.

His campaign has spent more than $51,000.

Snowden expects to replenish his coffers at an Aug. 21 fund-raiser in Baltimore with Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke, U.S. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Raymond Haysbert, former chief executive officer of Parks Sausage Co., as hosts.

Coming in a distant second in the mayoral fund raising was Republican Alderman M. Theresa DeGraff of Ward 7, who raised $31,315.83.

Snowden's biggest challenger in the Democratic primary is former mayor Dennis Callahan, who came in third at a mere $14,478.

"I don't think the campaign should be about money," said Charles M. Ross, Callahan's campaign manager. "People will carry away certain impressions from these campaign reports. That is what disclosure is about."

If it was just about money, "then the voters who really make the decision would be disenfranchised, and thank God, they are not," Ross said.

Among the remaining mayoral candidates, Alderman Dean L. Johnson, a Ward 2 Republican, reported raising $7,302; former federal worker Sylvanus Jones, a Democrat, raised $6,325.78; and perennial candidate Louise Beauregard, a Republican, declared herself a poverty candidate and will not raise any money.

In the eight aldermanic races, Republican Wayne C. Turner of Ward 6 was the only incumbent not to file a report yesterday.

Neither did challengers Michael T. Brown, an independent, and Brown's daughter, Republican Telia R. Brown. Both said they have no plans to file a report because they will not raise more than $100.

The other aldermen running for re-election include Louise Hammond, a Ward 1 Democrat, who raised $5,915; and Ellen O. Moyer, a Ward 8 Democrat, who raised $2,552.

Alderman Shepard Tullier, a Ward 4 Democrat, is not running for re-election.

In every case, the incumbents easily raised more money than their challengers.

Seven of the challengers have raised no money.

But even the incumbents admit that money might not mean everything.

"It all depends on how you carry your campaign," Gilmer said. "My perseverance and integrity will help carry me through."

Whether all the names will end up on the election ballot is still up in the air, Elections Board officials said.

The board will meet Aug. 6 to make a final decision on candidate certification. Voter registration records and other qualifications must be checked, officials said.

Pub Date: 7/30/97

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