The latest campaign finance reports in the Baltimore County executive race show Democrat Kevin Kamenetz entering the final stretch before the general election with about a third more money in the bank than his Republican rival, Kenneth C. Holt.
The last report required before the Nov. 2 general election — covering a period just before the Sept. 14 primary to mid-October — shows Kamenetz, 52, a county councilman and lawyer from Owings Mills, with a cash balance of $352,733 and Holt, 59, an investments executive from Kingsville, with $219,153
Kamenetz reported raising $348,020 in the most recent period, while spending $263,349; Holt reported $169,710 and spent $70,010.
Kamenetz spent about $1.3 million to defeat his fellow four-term councilman Joseph Bartenfelder in the Democratic primary. He spent more than $1 million on media, most of which was television advertising. Holt, a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and former member of the Maryland House of Delegates, ran unopposed for the Republican nomination and has so far spent about a tenth of that sum: $103,747.
Of Holt's receipts for the current reporting period, $100,000 came from one donation from the Reform Baltimore County slate of six Republicans: Holt, four contenders for County Council and outgoing District 3 Councilman T. Bryan McIntire, who lost his primary to Todd Huff of Lutherville. The slate received $100,000 — just about its entire contribution total for the period — from McIntire's campaign account in mid-October.
Kamenetz, who started the year with $727,080 in his campaign account, raised about another $1.1 million since January and has spent nearly $1.5 million this year. Holt has raised $322,902 and spent $212,230 this year.
Reports filed by two Democratic slates show the impact of two men who are not running this year at all: County Executive James T. Smith Jr., who has reached the legal limit of two terms, and Councilman Vincent Gardina, who is leaving the council after serving five terms.
The Baltimore County Victory Slate — comprising 25 members, including Smith, and candidates for state and local offices — shows $300,000 in receipts since early September, all of which came from Smith in three $100,000 contributions. The slate shows expenditures of $113,000, more than half on polling and political consultants, and a $25,000 donation to Cathy Bevins, who is running against Republican Ryan Nawrocki for the County Council District 6 seat. That's nearly a third of the money she raised since January, $81,960 — and nearly three times Nawrocki's total.
A Better Baltimore County, a slate comprising Kamenetz, Gardina and District 7 Councilman John Olszewski Sr., reported $181,924 raised since late August, all but $8,100 of it contributed by Gardina's campaign fund. The slate reported $74,572 in expenses, most of it for direct mail and printing.
Democratic fundraising tops Republican rivals in every council race but in District 3, the rural, northern section, a conservative district where Democrats hold a narrow edge in voter registration. The Democrat in that race, lawyer Ben Sutley of Baldwin, did not have to spend money on his primary campaign because he was unopposed.
Sutley has raised $38,150 so far this year. Huff, who topped McIntire and four other opponents in the primary, and has raised $64,314. In the most recent report, both men reported about the same amount of money left in their account: $18,977 for Sutley, $17,167 for Huff.
The closest money contests are in District 1, the southwestern section, and in District 5, which stretches from Towson to Perry Hall.
District 1 Democrat Tom Quirk, a financial planner from Catonsville, is topping Steve Whisler, a retired naval officer from Catonsville who has worked for defense contractors, $90,871 to $85,530 in receipts since January. Quirk topped three primary rivals, and Whisler ran unopposed. Quirk enters the final stretch with nearly twice as much in the bank: $32,941 to $16,989.
District 5 Democrat Mike Ertel, an insurance broker from Towson, who defeated two rivals in the primary, has raised $70,482 since January. Republican David Marks, of Perry Hall, who most recently worked in legislative affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation, has raised almost as much, $67,383, although he ran unopposed in the primary. Marks has a slight edge in his remaining balance: $20,304 to $16,778.