Democrat Harry Hughes, who won an upset victory in the September gubernatorial primary with limited financial resources, has attracted sizeable contributions from special interest groups who previously shunned his campaign.
Campaign finance reports filed here yesterday show he received tens of thousands of dollars from builders, contractors, members of the financial community, labor, food brokers and political action groups from private industry.
"Harry Hughes has an excellent chance to be governor, and there are many who like to contribute to a winner," said his campaign manager, Mike Canning. "But $1,000 will get you no more than $1, which is access to the governor."
In the last month alone, Hughes has received about 60 contributions of $1,000 each, double the number given his Republican rival, J. Glenn Beall Jr., during the same period.
"We're supposed to be the party of the fat cats," said George Beall, his brother's campaign manager. "This will dispel some of that myth."
Not all the special interest money went to Hughes. Beall received substantial contributions from nursing home operators, bottling companies and Western Maryland lumber and coal companies.
A number of groups hedged their bets, giving like amounts to both candidates. The car dealers' lobby gave $2,000 to each candidate. The drug store chain group $500, and the Maryland Classified Employes Association, which endorsed Beall, $800 to each.
Since the primary, however, Hughes and Beall together have raised only about half of what Acting Maryland Gov. Blair Lee III raised and spent in his unsuccessful primary bid.
In the six weeks since the Sept. 12 primary, Hughes' campaign reported receipts of nearly $230,000. They say they have raised $65,000 more that had not been processed by yesterday's filing deadline. In a year-long primary fight, Hughes was able to raise only $175,000.
Beall's campaign reported raising $217,000 during the same post-primary campaign, although $28,000 came from a June fund-raiser attended by former President Gerald R. Ford. George Beall said the campaign expects to raise an additional $20,000 by election day.
The Beall list included a number of contributors, companies and individuals, who previously had given to the unsuccessful primary campaigns of Democrats Lee and Attorney General Francis (Bill) Burch.
Both candidates received some help from former backers of convicted Gov. Marvin Mandel. Percy Chaimson, a Baltimore food broker who was one of Mandel's chief fund-raisers, took $4,000 worth of tickets from the Hughes fund-raising committee to sell for the Democratic nominees' Oct. 18 testimonial. Beall received $1,000 from owners of Baltimore's Pimlico Race Course, who were among Mandel's biggest financial supporters.
Both Beall and Hughes received contributions from the financial community, although Hughes' $7,600 from bankers, mortgage, credit and investment houses outdistanced support given his opponent.
The health care industry also was divided, but again Hughes received more, drawing $12,000 from individual physicians and professional groups.Beall's largest donors in this category were the nursing homes and their lobbying arm, which donated $5,400.
Hughes' largest sources of contributions were labor $14,000; builders, contractors and realtors, $16,000; and the food and tobacco industry, $4,800. Beall received $4,000 from bottling interests but his largest source of funds were local, state and national Republican organizations, including $15,000 from the National Republican Governor's Conference, $1,500 from the Republican State Central Committee and $200 from the Herbert Hoover Women's Club of Damascus.
In the report filed yesterday, Hughes recorded expenditures of $82,000 on broadcasting and publicity. According to campaign manager Canning, the amount included money owed from the primary battle.
Beall's report included only about $6,000 for broadcasting advertising in the period ending Oct. 24. "This is not a media campaign," said George Beall. "Obviously there's a good deal of (free) television exposure on debates."
Both campaigns have vowed not to spend any campaign funds on so-called "walk around money" traditionally parcelled out to election day workers in Baltimore to work at the polls.