Montgomery County Executive Sidney Kramer's long-shot write-in campaign to retain the office he lost in September's Democratic primary is drawing only nominal financial support, while Democratic nominee Neal Potter has collected about $75,000 in his bid to take Kramer's place.
Gov. William Donald Schaefer, meanwhile, who remains comfortably ahead of Republican challenger William S. Shepard in the polls, reported adding another quarter of a million dollars to his campaign war chest with recent fund-raisers that tapped New York financial circles and Washington area developers.
The governor reported raising $264,000 between Aug. 27 and Oct. 21, the period covered by the most recent campaign finance reports, bringing his total budget for the primary and general elections to almost $2.3 million. Shepard, as of Oct. 21, had raised $106,719.
The campaign finance reports filed with the state yesterday also showed that Prince George's County Executive Parris N. Glendening had raised an additional $84,000 through Oct. 21, bringing his campaign's total to $825,000. Glendening has spent about $527,000 and has $298,000 in the bank. He faces little-known Republican Charles W. Sherren Jr.
In Anne Arundel County, where the county executive's seat is open, Democratic County Council member Theodore J. Sophocleus reported raising a total of $283,000 in his heated race against former House of Delegates minority leader Robert R. Neall. Sophocleus's contributions included $3,000 from the state Democratic Party, and $2,000 from the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. He had about $19,000 left going into the campaign's final days. Neall's report was not available.
Howard County Executive Elizabeth Bobo reported raising a total of $149,000 for her race, with nearly one-third of that unspent. Republican challenger Charles Ecker reported raising about $66,000, including $20,000 in personal loans.
The reports show a stark reversal in Kramer's and Potter's financial fortunes since the Sept. 11 primary, when veteran County Council member Potter, in a low-budget effort, narrowly defeated Kramer, whose campaign had raised more money.
Records show Kramer spent about $340,000 in the primary, which was dominated by concern over the pace of growth and Kramer's contributions from the development and business communities. Potter raised $56,000 in advance of the primary, and has added $74,000 to that amount. Potter has lent his campaign a total of $26,000.
Waging an unorthodox write-in campaign, the Citizens to Write-In Sid Kramer Committee has garnered $17,450 for the effort, including a $5,000 gift of unspent primary campaign funds from Kramer.
However, committee head Fran Abrams said that to be successful, the committee will depend on volunteers rather than money. The volunteers are needed to explain the complicated ballot mechanics of writing in a candidate's name. The group plans to hand out pencils at the polls.
The campaign reports made available yesterday came after Kramer received the endorsements of county firefighter and police unions, as well as the backing of a political action committee of business leaders.
Abrams said she didn't expect large contributions from any of those groups, although individual members may make donations. For those who do wish to give, Abrams said, the campaign has adopted a limit of $250 from each voter.
Potter's campaign has adopted a limit of $250 from the family or business of anyone associated with the development industry.
Kramer, who built a successful commercial enterprise from a string of car washes, has said he would consider contributing his own money to the effort, but has not been asked. Abrams said no decision has been made on whether to ask Kramer for money. The citizens group reported having $10,125 cash on hand and a debt of $694.
The Republican candidate in the Nov. 6 race, Albert Ceccone, has raised $12,310, has $695 cash on hand and has total obligations of $5,457. Ceccone has lent the campaign about $5,000.
With a little more than a week left before the Nov. 6 election, most of Schaefer's money is gone: The governor's campaign committee reported spending $452,000 on paid media and $539,000 on staff salaries, with about $315,000 in hand.
Another large chunk of Schaefer's money, about $170,000, has been put to work for other candidates the governor supports.
A week before the Sept. 11 Democratic primary, Schaefer gave $5,000 to House of Delegates hopeful Chris Van Hollen, who was running on an abortion-rights ticket in Montgomery County that defeated longtime state Sen. Margaret C. Schweinhaut and a slate of delegates she had chosen. Sen. Philip C. Jimeno (D-Anne Arundel) and Senate hopeful Jeff Griffith, an abortion-rights advocate from Carroll County, who are both facing strong Republican challenges, received $5,000 and $3,000 respectively.
Staff writers Richard Tapscott and Claudia Levy contributed to this report.