Harris leads in fundraising in 1st

Republican takes in twice rival's total

April 15, 2008|By Bradley Olson | Bradley Olson,Sun reporter

Republican state Sen. Andy Harris raised nearly twice as much as Democratic Queen Anne's County State's Attorney Frank Kratovil Jr. during the past two months in the race for Maryland's 1st Congressional District, according to figures released yesterday by the campaigns and the Federal Election Commission.

Harris brought in more than $400,000 in contributions, compared with about $190,000 for Kratovil, during the final three weeks leading up to the Feb. 12 primary and the period through March 31. The totals include money raised for the primary and the November general election.

Those figures underscore a potentially huge fundraising advantage Harris has developed since winning the Republican primary by a surprisingly comfortable margin over nine-term incumbent Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest and fellow state Sen. E.J. Pipkin. The race was described as one of the most expensive and bitterly contested primaries in the nation.

Including the most recent totals, his campaign has raised nearly $1.5 million and spent about $1.3 million, with $204,000 on hand.

Kratovil also won by a wide margin over an aide to a former congressman who represented the district, which includes the Eastern Shore and parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Harford counties. Kratovil has raised a total of about $430,000 and has about $180,000 on hand, according to a campaign spokesman.

The Harris campaign seized upon the figures as an indication of the Baltimore County anesthesiologist's advantage going into the November contest.

"Doubling our opponent's fundraising totals clearly shows the Andy Harris campaign is gaining momentum heading into the general election," said Chris Meekins, Harris' campaign manager. "Andy's message of lowering taxes and decreasing wasteful government spending to stimulate economic growth is resonating with voters and donors."

Erik Gulbrandsen, Kratovil's spokesman, said the campaign was "pleased" with the figures - noting both campaigns have similar amounts of money in the bank.

"We feel we're on track to wage a competitive campaign," he said.

bradley.olson@baltsun.com

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