City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III leads Baltimore's mayoral field in fund raising with $700,000, more than $250,000 above other contenders for the city's top job, officials in his campaign said yesterday.
With more than $400,000 remaining, Bell is set to hit airwaves today with a television advertising campaign, said Tammy Hawley, Bell campaign chairwoman.
Candidates for city office rushed to complete and file their financial reports with the city and state election boards by the close of business yesterday. They also could have mailed reports, if postmarked yesterday.
Campaign committees filing late pre-election reports are subject to a $20 late fee for each of the first six days a report is late, and $10 a day thereafter, up to a maximum of $250 per report.
Bell campaign officials said they expected to mail their final report last night.
Mayoral candidate Carl F. Stokes provided a copy of his report to The Sun before mailing it late yesterday. His contributions include a $30,000 loan from key supporter and honorary campaign chairman Raymond C. Haysbert, former Parks Sausage owner. Haysbert also donated $3,000 to Stokes' campaign.
Among Stokes' top contributors is Edward J. Brody, founder and president of Brody Transportation Co., who served with Stokes on the first city school board jointly appointed by the governor and mayor in May 1997. Brody gave the maximum contribution of $4,000, and his company gave $4,000.
Edward Dopkin, owner of the restaurants Loco Hombre, gave $4,000 to Stokes' campaign.
Stokes had raised $301,375 and has about $87,054 remaining, his report shows.
That places Stokes third in fund raising behind Bell and City Councilman Martin O'Malley, who has raised $444,000 and has about $290,000 cash left in his campaign. O'Malley filed his report Monday.
Other mayoral candidates trail those three by tens, and in some cases hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
Seven mayoral candidates delivered their finance reports to the city election board yesterday, including Republican David F. Tufaro, who leads all candidates in spending their own money -- about $23,000 of his $38,843 in contributions -- according to finance reports.
Nine of the 25 mayoral candidates filed affidavits saying they would not raise or spend more than $1,000 in the race. Candidates who turned in reports and had raised less than $5,000 included Democrat A. Robert Kaufman, whose joint finance committee with council president candidate David G. S. Greene raised $4,295.
Kaufman and Greene received $2,000 of their contributions from painter and sculptor Sally Kearsley, who has pledged up to $100,000 toward their campaign.
Donors are limited to $4,000 per candidate and $10,000 per election cycle, but an expense without a candidate's consent is not subject to limits. State law allows candidates and their spouses to contribute as much as they want to their campaigns.
Political analysts have said running a competitive mayoral campaign will cost about $1 million.
In 1995, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke spent $1.8 million to win his third term, defeating former City Council President Mary Pat Clarke, who raised $967,200.
Experts expect the race to intensify as the Sept. 14 primary draws near.
"It's really going to come down to the last two weeks before the election," said Herbert C. Smith, a political science professor at Western Maryland College.
Pub Date: 8/18/99