Brauning funds put campaign in lead

Candidate raises $10,000, more than others seeking to unseat commissioners

August 14, 2002|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

Republican David Brauning appears set for a strong run in the Carroll commissioner race, after campaign finance reports filed yesterday showed him having more money on hand than other challengers to the three incumbents.

Brauning's report showed that he has raised about $10,000 this year, almost as much as Republican incumbent Julia Walsh Gouge's $12,000 and far more than Republican incumbent Donald I. Dell, who said he has raised about $1,000.

Brauning, a planning commission member whose campaign fund also includes a $5,000 loan, has about $7,700 left to spend, while Gouge has about $4,600 left. Dell said he has hardly spent any money and will rely on a pig roast Aug. 31 at his farm as his major source of funds.

Brauning was not the only challenger to make a solid financial showing. Fellow Republican Dean Minnich has raised about $8,500 and has about $2,900 left to spend.

"That's beyond what I thought I needed to run a grass-roots campaign, which is what I wanted to do all along," said Minnich, a former newspaper columnist who's running on a moderate platform.

Minnich, Brauning and Gouge are part of a 10-candidate field for the three hotly contested Republican nominations. Finance information was unavailable yesterday for the rest of the candidates, including the third incumbent, Republican Robin Bartlett Frazier. The county's Board of Elections had not released finance reports and information for many candidates had not been posted on the state Board of Elections Supervisors Web site.

On the Democratic side, where candidates don't face a primary, Sykesville councilwoman Jeannie Nichols said she has raised about $9,500 and longtime community activist Betty Smith said she has raised about $8,000. Nichols has spent almost all of her money on newspaper ads, direct-mail brochures and signs.

"I don't think anybody is ever happy with where they are money-wise, but we're doing well," Nichols said. "Things aren't as frantic at this point because without a primary, we still have a lot of time."

Few state legislative races promise as much competition as the commissioner battle, but Republicans are waging a fierce primary struggle for the 4th District state Senate seat, which includes a sliver of western Carroll. Incumbent Timothy R. Ferguson of Taylorsville is trying to fend off Del. David R. Brinkley and Frederick County Commissioner David Gray.

Finance reports show that Ferguson and Brinkley have built substantial campaign funds. Ferguson, known as one of Annapolis' most conservative legislators, has raised about $46,700 and has about $25,800 left. Brinkley has raised about $27,900 and, because of fund raising from previous years, has about $36,000 left. Figures for Gray were not available yesterday evening.

The picture remained less complete yesterday among Republicans competing for the newly created delegate seat in South Carroll. School Board President Susan Krebs has raised about $3,650 and, including a $1,500 loan, has about $4,000 left. Michael Guerin has raised about $2,475 and Robert Tabler about $2,325, which combined with a $5,000 loan, gives him $2,170 to spend. Information for the other primary competitors was unavailable yesterday evening.

On the Democratic side, Eldersburg attorney Kenneth Holniker has raised about $8,500 and has about $1,500 left.

The Republican incumbents across the rest of Carroll have accrued large financial advantages over their Democratic opponents.

Del. Carmen Amedori has raised $6,600, compared with $644 for Democratic challenger Kimberly J. Petry. Figures for other delegate candidates in the 5th District were not available yesterday evening. Sen. Larry E. Haines, who recently raised more than $20,000 at his annual picnic, has raised about $40,000 overall. His opponent, first-time candidate Ronald Zepp, said he is trying to plan a fund-raiser.

Incumbent Del. Donald B. Elliott, who represents the western part of Carroll, has raised about $12,000 and has about $7,900 left. One of his Democratic opponents, Thomas Henry Morrison of Westminster, hasn't raised any money. The other, Robert Lubitz of Westminster, hadn't posted a report yesterday evening.

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