Sauerbrey wins in money category She had $6.4 million, $200,000 more than opponent Glendening

November 24, 1998|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF

If dollars were votes, Ellen R. Sauerbrey would be Maryland's governor-elect.

With a $1.4 million push in the final weeks of her unsuccessful campaign, the Republican nominee forged past Gov. Parris N. Glendening to win the fund-raising race by roughly $6.4 million to $6.2 million, according to figures provided yesterday by the two campaigns.

But Sauerbrey's monetary edge did not translate into a majority on Nov. 3. Buoyed by a heavy Democratic turnout, Glendening won by 56 percent to 44 percent.

The $12.6 million raised by the Democratic and Republican nominees does not include the millions of dollars marshaled by party organizations, special interest groups and defeated primary candidates to influence voters in Maryland's most expensive governor's race.

The same two candidates raised $7.1 million -- a record at the time -- when they faced off in 1994.

Details of the two campaigns' fund-raising and spending will become available today when they file their post-election financial reports with the state elections board.

But a summary of Sauerbrey's campaign finance reports showed that she raised $1.1 million and running mate Richard D. Bennett collected $283,240 after Oct. 18.

Sauerbrey campaign treasurer Mark L. Lampe said the money poured in from "everywhere" -- individuals, political action committees and corporations -- as Republicans sensed their best chance in decades of seizing the State House.

"It was astonishing. The people were great," said Lampe.

Glendening campaign treasurer Robin Oegerle said the only figure she had available last night was the $6.17 million in funds raised during the four-year election cycle. The total indicates that the governor raised slightly more than $800,000 since Oct. 18 -- an impressive sum in any other Maryland election year and more than enough to win.

Out-of-state help

Both candidates benefited from out-of-state help -- Sauerbrey from a well-financed national Republican Party apparatus and a stream of GOP luminaries, Glendening from the timely assistance of the Clinton White House.

Even though Sauerbrey lost, veteran political observers were impressed by her fund-raising prowess.

"It's amazing that a Republican candidate can raise this level of money," said Donald Norris, professor of policy sciences at the ,, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Flood in last four weeks

But Norris said the outpouring of Republican generosity came too late. "In the last four weeks of the campaign, she was swimming against the current. I think the tide of the campaign turned three or four weeks before the election," he said.

He said that while Glendening might not have raised as much money, the governor's ads in the final weeks of the campaign were more effective.

Lampe said the flood of contributions that came to Sauerbrey in the final weeks reflected the quality of her fund-raising operation and Republican enthusiasm for Sauerbrey.

"People were motivated for her. It's not like a tax where you have to give," Norris said.

"I don't know if we'll ever see another one like this in Maryland."

Pub Date: 11/24/98

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