Shriver gets big national support

Report finds half of funds come from outside Md.

Van Hollen campaign skeptical

Fischer leads Gilchrest in 1st District money race

Election 2002

August 30, 2002|By Jeff Barker | Jeff Barker,SUN STAFF

Congressional candidate Mark K. Shriver is collecting half of his imposing campaign bankroll from outside the state, an infusion led partly by Kennedy family members and celebrities such as Hollywood director Rob Reiner and tycoon Donald Trump.

Shriver, a nephew of President John F. Kennedy, has raised $2.5 million in his bid to capture the Democratic nomination in Maryland's 8th Congressional District, according to a report he filed last night with the Federal Election Commission.

The money was about as likely to come from New York, Washington or Santa Monica, Calif., as from the Montgomery County suburbs where he lives.

"You have to wonder why folks in Boston or Chicago or Los Angeles are investing in a candidate from suburban Washington," said Steve Jost, campaign manager for Shriver opponent Christopher Van Hollen Jr.

Shriver spokesman Jay Strell said in response: "This is a race that has implications far beyond the 8th District."

Congressional candidates from across the state were required to release reports by midnight yesterday, detailing fund raising from July 1 through Aug. 21.

The filings showed 1st District challenger David W. Fischer, a lawyer from Timonium, leading incumbent Republican Wayne T. Gilchrest in the money race of their Republican primary with $392,000 raised. Gilchrest has raised $275,000 and has $137,000 on hand.

Included in Fischer's take are loans to his own campaign fund of $258,000. Much of the $117,000 he has raised from individual contributors has come from outside the district, which includes all nine Eastern Shore counties and parts of Baltimore, Harford and Anne Arundel counties.

Money also flowed into the 2nd Congressional District, where Baltimore County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is in a Democratic primary fight with investment banker Oz Bengur. The winner will face former GOP Rep. Helen Delich Bentley in November.

Ruppersberger has collected about $640,000 and spent $180,000, said campaign manager Jim Cauley. The fund-raising total, he said, is "right on target" for the campaign's expectations.

David Brown, Bengur's communications director, said their reports show Bengur has $131,823 in cash.

Bentley's report, filed yesterday, showed she has raised $334,136 and spent $94,060, leaving her with $240,076. Her campaign manager, Michael S. Kosmas, said a fund-raiser at the Camden Club with EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman on Wednesday night attracted about 60 supporters and raised $50,000.

But no Maryland congressional candidate can approach Shriver's total. He is being aided heavily by labor and by such luminaries as actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is Shriver's brother-in-law.

About 53 percent of Shriver's campaign money is from out of state, compared with 35 percent for Van Hollen, a state senator, according to a recent study by the Center for Responsive Politics, a watchdog group. A third Democrat, Ira Shapiro, has collected 69 percent from out of state, much of it from Washington or Northern Virginia.

Though the group's study includes figures only through July 29, Shriver's campaign said the ratio of in-state to out-of-state fund raising has remained essentially the same. A cursory review of his most recent filing shows Shriver raising more than half from outside Maryland.

But Strell said Shriver has raised nearly as much in Maryland as Van Hollen has from all sources.

In the region, Shriver has collected contributions from Orioles owner Peter G. Angelos and Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner. He had $969,488 in campaign cash in the bank as of Aug. 21, compared with Van Hollen's $175,000 and Shapiro's $156,609.

The winner of the Sept. 10 primary will challenge Republican incumbent Constance A. Morella.

While the Democratic candidates have collectively spent more than a million dollars on television advertising, Morella is unopposed and has not needed to spend as much.

She had about $1.7 million on hand as of Aug. 21.

Sun staff writers Johnathon E. Briggs, Chris Guy and Dennis O'Brien contributed to this article.

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