Stewart Bainum, a wealthy Montgomery County delegate and a longshot in the race to fill Gladys Spellman's seat in Congress, raised and spent the most money during the opening days of the contest, according to financial reports filed with the Federal Election Commission and made available yesterday.
Bainum, a Democrat whose family is a major stockholder in a national chain of hotels and nursing homes, was able to raise $64,267 and quickly spent $52,909 by contributing most of the money himself -- some $50,000 in interest-free loans to his campaign. Bainum's largesse, and substantial donations from a few friends, family members and persons connected to the family business, will permit him to run campaign advertisements during such well-known television programs as 60 Minutes and Dallas.
Democrats Edward Conroy, Steny Hoyer, Sue Mills and Reuben Spellman and Republican Lawrence Hogan Jr. -- five of the leading candidates running in Maryland's special 5th District election -- all raised over $20,000 between the campaign's beginning in late February and the FEC filing deadline of March 18.
Several candidates in the 32-person race did not file any financial documents with the FEC even though they are on the April 7 primary ballot because they have not raised or spent $5,000, the FEC cutoff for filing. One candidate, Democrat Thomas Patrick O'Reilly, has raised more than $5,000 but did not file because, the Lanham senator said, he thought the filing deadline was next week.
Hoyer, a lawyer who until two years ago led the county Democratic Party organization, closely followed Bainum in campaign contributions. As of the March 18 filing, Hoyer's campaign had raised $45,285 and spent $24,427, mostly for radio advertisements, printing and office expenses. Hoyer also helped his campaign efforts along with a $20,000 loan.
About $10,000 came from dozens of lawyers in Prince George's firms that have been long associated with the Democratic organization. Hoyer also received a $2,500 contribution from the Maryland Medical Political Action Committee, the largest PAC contribution in the candidate files available yesterday.
Hogan Jr., the son and namesake of the Prince George's County executive, raised the third largest amount -- $27,137, including a $2,000 loan by the candidate -- and spent half of it in the first three weeks of March. Like Bainum, Hogan apparently benefited from family connections, with several longtime supporters of his father making large contributions. In addition, several other persons either employed by the county government or doing business with the county gave substantial contributions.
FEC records for Hogan's most serious Republican opponent, Bowie Mayor Audrey Scott, show that the campaign had raised only $9,810, including a $5,000 personal loan from Scott, and spent $2,500 as of the filing deadline.
Mills raised $25,555, the fourth largest campaign fund, by converting $18,335 she previously had raised while serving as a County Council member. Under federal election laws, Mills is entitled to use this money provided she has removed all funds contributed by corporations or labor unions.
FEC files for Gladys Spellman's husband Reuben were unavailable yesterday but Spellman said he had raised $20,397. Included in that amount was $1,450 from three political action committees and a $6,000 personal loan from Spellman.The campaign had spent $8,613 as of March 18 to set up a telephone bank and campaign headquarters.
The other major Democratic candidate, Edward Conroy, said yesterday that he had raised $20,360, only $360 of which came from actual contributions. The rest was a $20,000 loan Conroy took out from a bank and gave to his campaign committee. Conroy's FEC files were unavailable yesterday but the Bowie senator said that as of the March 18 filing date he had not spent any money.