O'Malley campaign raises $1.2 million

Democrat's funding outstrips GOP rival 13-1

October 23, 1999|By Gerard Shields | Gerard Shields,SUN STAFF

Democratic mayoral nominee Martin O'Malley has raised $1.2 million for his Nov. 2 bid to become Baltimore's 47th mayor, outstripping his Republican opponent by a 13-1 margin, according to the campaign's officials.

Republican candidate David F. Tufaro filed reports yesterday showing he raised $89,222 in his first bid for political office.

O'Malley, who jumped in the race on June 22 and won the Democratic primary last month with 53 percent of the vote, has raised $505,000 since the last campaign reporting period in September. In the four months since he joined the race, he has raised an average of $300,000 a month.

"That's a pretty big chunk of change," said Carl Arscott, a Annapolis consultant who has been tracking the mayoral race.

O'Malley, however, still has a way to go to reach the $1.8 million raised by Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke in 1995. Schmoke will step down in December after 12 years.

The list of O'Malley contributors was unavailable because campaign leaders said that they were still compiling the reports last night.

Candidates for city offices had until midnight yesterday to postmark their latest campaign reports. Reports for O'Malley's primary opponents, City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III and former East Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes, were not available yesterday.

Tufaro filed his report with the city elections office yesterday. Most of his contributors were friends and business associates who contributed $100 and $250. Tufaro lent himself $20,000.

Among Tufaro's largest contributors was George Beall, attorney for the Baltimore Ravens football team, who contributed $500. James Piper of the O'Conor, Piper & Flynn ERA real estate company donated $600, while the Columbia National Inc. mortgage company contributed $500. The largest individual contributor was Chamber, Brown, a company from Smyrna, Ga., which donated $1,000. A campaign official said the organization was a business associate of Tufaro, who is a former executive with Summit Properties, an East Coast residential real estate development firm based in Baltimore.

The report showed that Tufaro has failed to attract the attention of state and federal Republican party leaders, who seem to view Baltimore as too much of a Democratic stronghold. Democratic voters in the city outnumber Republicans 9 to 1.

"The national party has their hands full with what's going on in D.C.," said Arscott, also a GOP party activist.

Tufaro, however, has made a much stronger showing than Schmoke's 1995 GOP opponent, Victor Clark Jr., who raised $1,000.

"I'm sure David hoped to do better," Arscott said. "But he's raised enough to run radio ads and make O'Malley pay attention."

Tufaro is expected to launch a $30,000 radio ad campaign Tuesday on six city stations.

O'Malley plans to gear up his campaign today by touring the east and southeast sections with City Council candidates from the 1st and 2nd districts. Television viewers can also expect to see more O'Malley commercials throughout the last week of the campaign.

"I guess he's planning to hold onto a lot of money," said Arscott, also a GOP activist. "The best deterrent to a challenger four years down the road is a big bank account."

Pub Date: 10/23/99

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