Frazier leads in raising funds for campaign race 19 are running for commissioner

August 20, 1998|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

Former planning commission chairwoman Robin Bartlett Frazier was the leading fund-raiser among the 19 candidates, including two incumbents, running for County Commissioner, election board records show.

Frazier, a Manchester Republican who lent her campaign $2,650, raised $8,144 during the nine-month reporting period that ended Aug. 8. Candidates were required to file those reports Tuesday.

Frazier has spent $4,446, mostly on campaign materials.

Even if the loan to her campaign is deducted, Frazier, who resigned from the planning commission April 21, raised nearly twice as much as most of the candidates in the crowded County Commissioner race.

"I don't think it means anything," Frazier said of the campaign fund she has amassed. "A lot of people started after we did."

Regardless, her fund-raising efforts "show some pretty good grass-roots support," she said. "The important thing is to make sure they get out and vote."

Westminster Republican Betty L. Smith, who entered the race early, trailed Frazier by $541 in the fund-raising sweepstakes. She has raised $7,603 -- $5,434 in the last nine months covered by the report. She has lent her campaign $1,500.

"I don't have a lot of big contributors, but I have a lot of consistent contributors" -- 400 of them, Smith said. "A lot of people are supporting me. The campaign is going very, very well."

A slow start Judging from the financial reports that candidates running for county or state office this fall were required to file with the county election board Tuesday, the race for County Commissioner is off to a slow start.

Hampstead Democrat Randy M. Reese has not raised or spent && any money on his campaign. Republicans Edward S. Calwell Sr. and John F. Curran Jr. of Westminster have filed affidavits with the election board indicating they will not raise or spend more than $1,000 each on their campaigns.

The story is little different for incumbents, who usually have a huge fund-raising advantage but not this time. Incumbent Richard T. Yates, an Eldersburg Republican, does not show any income other than a $500 loan he made to his campaign this month. His report does not show any expenditures.

The report of incumbent Donald I. Dell, a Westminster Republican, tells a similar story. Dell lent his campaign $1,500 July 2 and $5,000 Aug. 5. He has spent $1,564, mostly for postage. He also spent $540 on a pig he bought at a 4-H Fair in anticipation of a pig roast fund-raiser he plans next month.

Media spending

Most candidates are spending their money on campaign materials such as signs and posters. The only one to have spent a sizable portion of money on media is Republican George William Murphy III of Sykesville.

Murphy, who advertises his candidacy on the World Wide Web, has spent $2,632 on media advertising. He has lent his campaign $5,000 -- the total amount he has raised so far.

The money raised by the County Commissioner candidates pales in comparison with that raised by candidates seeking seats in the General Assembly.

State Sen. Larry E. Haines, a two-term incumbent Republican who has no opposition, has raised $88,089 during the four-year election cycle, $21,536 in the last reporting period. He has spent $70,669 -- $17,939 of it in the past nine months.

Haines, who said he does not intend to hold another fund-raiser before the November election, said he has been holding two fund-raisers a year since he went to the state Senate in 1991.

That strategy has not changed, he said. "I need to keep my volunteers active. I need to be prepared for a challenger."

'Voters to the polls'

In general, a candidate who has the ability to raise funds will be successful, Haines said. "People who are making a financial commitment are often making a commitment to other types of involvement. Most people who give in a grass-roots campaign will help get voters to the polls."

Incumbents in the House of Delegates have also fared well, with Republicans Donald B. Elliott of New Windsor raising $16,034; Joseph M. Getty of Manchester, $16,859; and Nancy R. Stocksdale of Westminster, $26,376.

Incumbent Democrat Ellen Willis Miller of Westminster has raised $21,113.

Democrat Ann M. Ballard of Mount Airy, who is challenging Elliott in the general election, has lent her campaign $1,000. She has $1,025 in her campaign treasury, according to the latest report.

Republicans Carmen Amedori of Westminster and W. David Blair of Manchester, who will vie with Getty, Stocksdale and County Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown in the September primary, raised $10,167 and $17,392, respectively. Blair's total covers a four-year period. He raised $6,791 in the most recent reporting period.

Brown's report did not reach the local election office by the Aug. 18 deadline. Also missing were the reports of incumbent state Sen Timothy R. Ferguson of Taylorsville and challengers Jerome J. Joyce, a New Market Republican, and George H. Littrell Jr., a Frederick Democrat.

Campaign receipts and expenses1

County Commissioner candidate... Receipts.... Expenses

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