Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D) enjoys a large head start in fundraising among potential 2014 candidates for governor, campaign finance reports due Wednesday show.
Gansler reported nearly $4.1 million cash on hand, more than triple that of other Democrats angling to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D).
Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) said his report would show $1.3 million in the bank, while a summary released by Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) reported more than $810,000 on hand. An aide to Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), another Democrat jockeying to seek his party’s nomination, said late Wednesday night that Franchot has more than $1 million in the bank.
Annual fundraising totals were due Wednesday to the Maryland State Board of Elections, but full reports were not likely to be publcly available until Thursday.
Gansler, a former state’s attorney from Montgomery County, ran unopposed for re-election as attorney general in 2010 — a significant advantage compared to his rivals, particularly Brown. The lieutenant governor’s fundraising efforts prior to 2010 were largely aimed at helping O’Malley defeat former governor Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) in a their rematch.
In an interview, Gansler said he is “obviously pleased” with the campaign money he has accumulated, but he said he would wait until after this year’s presidential election to focus on his political future.
“We’re not in a campaign mode whatsoever,” Gansler said.
The attorney general said that he would like to think his fundraising total “is a reflection of how we’re doing in office.”
Perhaps the most surprising number posted Wednesday came from Ulman, whose statewide political profile is lower than that of other Democrats eying O’Malley’s post. At age 37, Ulman is also significantly younger than his rivals.
While the four Democratic hopefuls have been vying for attention for months, potential Republican candidates have not been as open about their intentions.