Sauerbrey narrows money gap Republican raised more than governor during past 8 weeks

Md.'s first $10 million race

Challenger surges past Glendening in spending on ads

October 24, 1998|By Michael Dresser and William F. Zorzi Jr. | Michael Dresser and William F. Zorzi Jr.,SUN STAFF Sun staff reporter Jay Apperson contributed to this article.

Ellen R. Sauerbrey continued to narrow the money gap between her and Gov. Parris N. Glendening, raising almost $500,000 more than the incumbent Democrat during the past eight weeks, according to figures released yesterday.

The fund-raising detailed in campaign finance reports due yesterday shows that Maryland -- for the first time in its history -- is experiencing a $10 million political race.

The Republican challenger has raised $1.73 million since Aug. 31, bringing the total for her campaign during the four-year election cycle to $4.95 million.

Glendening raised $1.26 million, for a total of $5.36 million.

This ensures that he will surpass his record spending of $5.3 million in the 1994 race, which broke the state's record for spending by a candidate.

"Wow," was the reaction of Donald F. Norris, professor of policy sciences at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, when he was told of the amount raised by Sauerbrey.

"She's within $400,000 of him. That's pretty incredible, considering he's an incumbent," Norris said. "That goes a long way to leveling the playing field, because she can buy so much more advertising to get her message out, counter his message.

"It's a big change from four years ago, when she was virtually out of money by this time, having taken public financing."

Yesterday's reports provide the final glimpse, until after the Nov. 3 election, of how Maryland candidates are raising money. The last reporting deadline is sometimes followed by a surge of donations as candidates tap sources they might have avoided.

"If they're going to take controversial money, they're going to wait till the end so it isn't an issue," said Keith Haller, president of Potomac Survey Research in Bethesda.

The combined campaigns of Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend reported $1.04 million in cash on hand as of Sunday. Sauerbrey and her running mate, Richard D. Bennett, had $669,000 on hand for the final campaign push.

Glendening cash advantage

Haller said Glendening's prudent spending has left him with an advantage in cash on hand, but he said that edge could vanish if Sauerbrey continues to raise money at such a productive rate.

"All indications are that the Republicans are going to dump huge amounts of money, and we know from public statements that the [Democratic National Committee] has limited resources to contribute nationally," Haller said.

The Glendening-Townsend campaign finance reports were filed yesterday afternoon, and copies were made available to the news media.

The Sauerbrey-Bennett campaign, which was expecting to file its report by mail last night, provided summaries of its fund-raising and spending totals.

The Sauerbrey summary indicated that the campaign had spent $1.92 million on radio and TV advertising. Glendening reported spending about $1.75 million on media. The figures confirm reports that Sauerbrey's spending had surged past Glendening's in the air battle.

The Glendening campaign's reports showed the continued fund-raising prowess of Townsend, whose committee raised $283,490 during the past eight weeks to reach a four-year total of $831,455.

The three Glendening campaign committees raised 28 percent of their funds from out of state during the eight-week period. Of the gifts to Glendening's campaign, 23 percent were $1,000 or more, but those accounted for 69 percent of the campaign's receipts.

Top contributors

The two top contributors to the governor's cause were the campaign committees of Democrats with whom he has had tense relations in the past. House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., who at one time considered challenging Glendening for the Democratic nomination, gave the legal maximum of $12,000 to the ticket. Former Gov. William Donald Schaefer, who has blown hot and cold about Glendening since entering the comptroller's race in July, gave the same amount.

In other statewide races, Schaefer raised nearly a half-million dollars in his race for comptroller, more than 20 times as much as his Republican opponent, Larry M. Epstein.

Schaefer has raised more than $456,000, including more than $165,000 in ticket sales to fund-raisers since the end of August.

Epstein, an Owings Mills accountant making his second run for the office, has raised about $16,000 since late August, bringing his total receipts to $21,700.

Schaefer's campaign has spent more than $360,000. Epstein has spent about $15,000 on the race.

In the attorney general's race, incumbent Democrat J. Joseph Curran Jr. has raised $57,565 during the past eight weeks to bring his total to $379,287.

He has $77,840 in reserve.

His Republican challenger, Paul H. Rappaport, has raised $24,016 to bring his total to $58,104.

He had $4,604 on hand.

Pub Date: 10/24/98

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