Holniker outspends Krebs in 9B race

Fund raising slows in commissioner contest

Carroll County

October 27, 2002|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

Fund raising has died down since the primaries last month in the Carroll commissioners' race, but the spending race has intensified in the contest for the newly created state delegate seat in South Carroll.

Democratic candidate Kenneth Holniker has spent more than twice as much as Republican Susan W. Krebs in his quest for the District 9B seat.

According to his finance report filed Friday, Holniker has raised about $19,000 and spent about $26,000, covering the difference with $11,000 in personal loans to his campaign. Krebs has raised about $12,500 and spent about $10,000.

Both candidates said they are satisfied with their fund-raising efforts.

"There's never enough money," said Holniker, an Eldersburg attorney who has covered South Carroll with signs, bought newspaper ads and mailed fliers. "But you never want to lose an election because you didn't spend enough money."

Krebs said she has finished fund raising and is not intimidated by her opponent's spending advantage.

"No amount of money can buy an election," the school board president said. "I have people on my side, so I don't need the money."

In the commissioners' race, sole incumbent Julia Walsh Gouge leads the pack with about $21,400 raised. Unlike most of her opponents, Gouge has maintained a strong fund-raising pace during the past few weeks, raising more than $5,000 since the last filing deadline in August. Her largest contribution, $1,000, came from the Maryland State Realtors' political action committee.

The other major party candidates have raised between $12,000 and $15,000 each.

Dean L. Minnich, who got the most votes in the Republican primary Sept. 10, has raised about $13,000, but has raised little money since August. Minnich said he deliberately tapered off his fund raising because he believes that candidates in general spend too much on campaigns.

"I think it discourages people from running," he said. "We've already raised two or three times as much as we expected. There's only so much you can say or do. At some point, you have to turn it over to the voters and let them make choices."

Perry L. Jones Jr., the Union Bridge mayor and first-time Republican candidate, has raised about $14,000, said his treasurer Bob Alexander.

Jones' report filed Aug. 30 showed that he had raised about $15,000. That total included several sizable lump sums from unidentified sources, which has inspired questions from some of his opponents.

But Alexander said those lump sums resulted from mistakes he made in filing the candidate's contributions with the state. Alexander said he will file an amendment that reduces Jones' overall fund-raising total to the accurate $14,000 figure.

"I'm not used to these forms on the computer," he said.

On the Democratic side, Sykesville Councilwoman Jeannie M. Nichols has raised the most money, about $14,700, and said she has spent almost all of it. Nichols has raised about $3,000 since the last filing deadline. She said she's probably done soliciting money.

"That's a lot of money to raise with individual contributions," she said. "I don't know that anybody's ever where they need to be in terms of money, but we're pleased with the amount we've raised."

Finksburg activist Neil Ridgely has raised about $12,200 and lent himself more than $6,000, allowing him to outspend other Democrats. He said he has been heartened to see Democrats remain financially competitive with their Republican opponents.

"I'm just shocked at how these people have come through for me," he said. "These are not rich people."

Democrat Betty L. Smith said her finance report wasn't complete as of Friday afternoon, but said she had raised about $13,000, about $4,000 of that since the last filing deadline.

"We've raised about what we thought we would have to raise," she said.

In other delegate races, Democratic candidate Robert P. Wack has raised about $20,000 in his race for a seat in District 5A. Wack, a Westminster pediatrician challenging two Republican incumbents, has come on strong, raising about $12,000 since August. He has about $6,700 left to spend.

Wack said he had hoped to raise $30,000. "We will not stop until we have won," he said.

Wack's biggest contribution, $3,000, came from the Maryland House Democratic Unity Committee, a fund controlled by state Speaker of the House Casper R. Taylor Jr. He also received $500 from Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley's campaign committee.

One of Wack's opponents, Carmen Amedori, has raised about $9,200 since November and has about $4,800 left to spend. She said she's not worried about Wack.

"I have enough money to do what I need to do," she said. "I'm frugal, and besides, I'm the incumbent, so I don't need to buy all new signs and stuff."

Sen. Larry E. Haines, opposed in District 5 by Democrat Ronald Zepp, has raised about $8,000 since August but has more than $30,000 on hand due to lucrative fund-raisers he has held during the past four years.

Reports listing donors for some candidates were not posted on the State Board of Elections Web site Friday, and were unavailable from the county board of elections.

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