Both major-party candidates for Maryland governor ended their campaigns with $500,000 in loans still outstanding, according to reports filed earlier this week.
Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D), the unexpected loser, could have a harder time raising money to pay off the debt than Gov.-elect Larry Hogan (R), who all of a sudden has the benefit of Annapolis lobbyists and interest groups looking to curry favor.
In the closing weeks of the race, Brown borrowed $500,000 from a labor union.
At the time, his campaign manager said it was a short-term loan intended to help manage cash flow that would be paid back with money raised at fundraisers that were planned.
But a report filed by Brown on Tuesday showed that his campaign still owed the full amount to the Laborers Political League Education Fund as of Nov. 11, one week after the election.
Brown and his running mate, Ken Ulman, reported a total of $175,470 in cash on hand, much of which could be used to pay off part of his campaign debt. Justin Schall, Brown’s campaign manager, did not return calls about plans for making up the difference.
While Brown is free to hold fundraisers, losing candidates often struggle to raise more cash from once-loyal contributors.
Hogan’s campaign, meanwhile, reported that it was carrying $500,000 in loans incurred during the Republican primary. The loans consisted of personal funds given by the governor-elect to his campaign.
As incoming governor, Hogan, owner of an Anne Arundel County real estate business, should have little trouble getting paid back.
On Monday, he appeared at a fundraiser at an Annapolis wine bar for the Maryland Republican Party that organizers said raised more than $250,000. The state GOP, which spent heavily to promote Hogan’s bid this year, still had some bills to pay and was starting to stockpile cash for future use.
Brown and Hogan are not the first Maryland gubernatorial candidates to take out loans to help finance their campaigns.
In 2006, Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) secured $500,000 from retired trial lawyer John P. Coale in the closing the weeks of the race. Once elected, O’Malley was able to retire his debt quickly with the benefit of donors interested in the work of his new administration.