Congress members lead challengers in collecting money for campaigns Funding gap between incumbents and rivals is large in most races

Campaign 1998

September 10, 1998|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON -- To the victors go the spoils. To the incumbent lawmakers go campaign donations -- and lots of them. A review of the most recent campaign records filed by Marylanders running for the House and Senate shows that incumbents are far outstripping their challengers in raising money for their re-election bids.

Even in the two contests where the challengers are regarded by party officials as most formidable -- in Maryland's 5th and 8th districts -- incumbents are sitting on campaign funds that dwarf those of their opponents. No Maryland lawmaker faces stiff competition in Tuesday's primary.

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer, a Democrat from Southern Maryland, had received $344,178 so far this year and had $555,652 in his campaign coffers Aug. 26, the final day of the reporting period. His probable Republican challenger, Robert Ostrom, maintains $36,000 in funding after raising $97,723 this year.

Similarly, Rep. Constance A. Morella, a Montgomery County Republican, has $608,177 on hand, while Ralph G. Neas, the Democratic civil rights activist she will likely face, has about $291,459.

Neas, who is considered a relatively well-financed challenger, was upbeat about his prospects, saying he has been able to "level the playing field."

Even those lawmakers who do not have difficult races have amassed substantial funds: Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin, a Baltimore-area Democrat, has $251,000 to spend; Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., a Baltimore County Republican, has $219,535; and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, has $190,898.

Ann R. Beser, a longtime Democratic operative who served as Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski's campaign manager for six months this year, said the amounts collected by Marylanders are not large when compared with those in other states where competition is sharper and costs are higher.

A recent review by the Federal Elections Commission did not list a Maryland lawmaker among the top 50 House recipients of campaign contributions as of June 30.

Many voters appear wary this year of giving money to candidates, Beser said. But incumbents always manage to find a way.

"One still has to get the message to the voter, and it's expensive," Beser said. "Obviously, it's easier to raise money as an incumbent, because they have name recognition, they sit on committees" and political action committees "pay attention to them."

Campaign funds

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .Cash on hand .. .. .. ..Contributions

.. .. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .this year

SENATE

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D) .. .$1,670,000 .. .. .. .. ..$1,120,000

Michael Gloth (R) .. .. .. .. .. .. ..7,777 .. .. .. .. .. .. 36,790

George Liebmann (R) .. .. .. .. .. .. 1,765 .. .. .. .. .. .. 25,735

Ross Z. Pierpont (R)* .. .. .. .. .. 47,311 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..0

John Taylor (R) .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 792 .. .. .. .. .. .. .1,415

HOUSE

1st District

Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest (R) .. .. .$101,119 .. .. .. .. .. ..115,570

Irving Pinder (D) .. .. .. .. .. .. ..8,339 .. .. .. .. .. .. 38,568

2nd District

Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) .. ..219,535 .. .. .. .. .. ..173,148

3rd District

Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin (D) .. .. ..251,000 .. .. .. .. .. ..317,000

4th District

Rep. Albert R. Wynn (D) .. .. .. .. 279,819 .. .. .. .. .. ..224,022

5th District

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D) .. .. .. .. 555,652 .. .. .. .. .. ..344,178

Robert Ostrom (R) .. .. .. .. .. .. .36,000 .. .. .. .. .. ..$97,723

6th District

Rep. Roscoe T. Bartlett (R)** .. ...377,481 .. .. .. .. .. ...66,939

7th District

Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D) .. .. ..190,898 .. .. .. .. .. ..204,815

Antonio Campbell (R) .. .. .. .. .. ..1,453 .. .. .. .. .. .. .6,615

8th District

Rep. Constance A. Morella (R) .. ...608,177 .. .. .. .. .. ..367,842

Ralph G. Neas (D) .. .. .. .. .. .. 291,459 .. .. .. .. .. ..150,703

SOURCES: Federal Elections Commission, secretary of the Senate

NOTE: Figures are valid for 1998 through Aug. 26. Only candidates who have filed the most recent campaign documents required under federal election rules have been listed. Such disclosure requirements are triggered after candidates have raised or spent at least $5,000 in any election cycle.

* Pierpont lent $51,000 to his campaign.

** Bartlett lent $270,000 to his campaign.

Pub Date: 9/10/98

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.