Gansler, eyeing Md. governor’s race, to report $5.2 million in the bank

Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler, center, mingles at an event in December. (Photo by Rebecca D'Angelo For the Washington Post)

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Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D), who is gearing up to run for governor next year, will report having $5.2 million in the bank, far more than any previous Democratic candidate at this point in the cycle, his campaign said.

The figure, which is part of a report of a report due to the State Board of Elections on Wednesday, is also expected to greatly exceed those of Gansler’s potential rivals for the nomination.

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During the past year, Gansler raised more than $1.2 million, the campaign said, building on an already sizable war chest accumulated in recent years.

Early fundraising totals are important gauge of strength but do not always predict the ultimate winner of political races. Gansler is the first of the Democrats jockeying to succeed Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) to advertise his numbers ahead of Wednesday’s deadline.

In January 2005 — the equivalent point in the 2006 race for governor — O’Malley reported about $1 million in the bank. He trailed his Democratic rival for the nomination at the time, then-Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan (D), who reported more than $1.4 million cash on hand.

Then-Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R), who was seeking re-election, had about $5.1 million on hand, about the same as what Gansler now has. He later lost to O’Malley.

Other Democrats angling this year to succeed O’Malley include Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), Howard County Executive Ken Ulman (D) and Del. Heather R. Mizeur (D-Montgomery).

Republicans eying the race include Harford County Executive David R. Craig (R), former Ehrlich Cabinet secretary Larry Hogan and Frederick County Commissioner Blaine R. Young (R).

More than 60 percent of Gansler’s cash has come from Maryland donors, the campaign said. The only county from which he did not receive a donation was Garrett.

Gansler said in a statement that he is “flattered by the depth and breadth of support I have received from all corners of Maryland.”

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