The race for cash for the 2022 governor’s race is underway in Maryland, with Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) raising the most money last year among known potential contenders for the job.
Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R), who is still weighing to whether to run for the top job, raised nothing in 2020, according to campaign finance reports made public week, and had just $23,000 in his campaign account.
Alsobrooks, who is midway through her first term at the helm of the state’s second-largest jurisdiction, was one of three Democrats who raised a significant amount of money in 2020 and had more than $1 million on hand.
She took in $827,447 between Jan. 9, 2020, and Jan. 13, 2021, the filings show. About 70 percent of her donations came from Prince George’s County, and 54 percent were for less than $100.
Baltimore County Executive John “Johnny O” Olszewski (D) was close behind, with $805,750 for the year. Comptroller Peter Franchot (D), the only declared candidate in the field from either party, raised $790,431.
Franchot, who has held statewide office for more than a decade and faced only modest challenges in recent elections, had $2.2 million in the bank. In an email to supporters, he said he had not tried to raise anything during the pandemic.
“In fact, we didn’t hold a single in person or virtual fundraiser. In these trying times, it never felt like a safe or appropriate ask to make of you,” Franchot said.
Alsobrooks also mostly paused fundraising during the spring and summer to focus on the government’s response to coronavirus, according to her fundraiser Rachael Rice. Efforts picked back up in September, Rice said, and have included a virtual barbecue, Zoom events and a virtual “1,000 Women for Alsobrooks” event.
“What you’re seeing is somebody who has knocked it out of the park where she is,” Rice said. “If you were to take her further out in the state, she would also have the ability to connect there.”
For most of the year, Alsobrooks was more restricted in her fundraising efforts than other potential candidates because of a nearly decade-old law that said county executives in Prince George’s could not accept donations from developers with pending projects in the county. That ban was lifted Oct. 1, following the passage of a bill to repeal the it that Alsobrooks supported. About 70 percent of the donations to Alsobrooks arrived after the ban ended.
Olszewski, who raised the most of any state or local official in 2019, had $1.6 million to spend on a potential primary as of Jan. 13.
Other potential Democratic contenders for the gubernatorial nomination include Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, former U.S. education secretary John B. King Jr., former congressman John Delaney, and U.S. Reps. David Trone and Anthony G. Brown.
Of them, only Brown has a state account that required a disclosure. All $20,000 of his contributions in 2020 went to repaying a loan from his failed 2014 bid for governor.