Today is the deadline for the annual campaign financing reports covering the period January 15, 2015 through January 13, 2016. The table below shows you the summary data for these reports for each of the 6 leading candidates for Mayor. (Clicking on the table makes it larger.)
The percentages across the top of the table show the standing of each candidate in the Gonzales Research poll released yesterday.
As you can see, Catherine Pugh has raised substantially more contributions than any of her competitors – and has substantially more money on hand than any of her opponents other than millionaire venture capitalist David Warnock.
Mr. Warnock raised well less than Senator Pugh, but loaned his campaign $950,000 of his own money which explains why he has so much cash on hand. None of the other leading candidates is wealthy. If you’re a person interested in campaign finance reform, you might want to consider placing limits – if they’re constitutional – on how much a candidate, Donald Trump for example, can invest in electing himself to high office – particularly in an age when digital and traditional media (television) campaigns and smart canvassing are so expensive.
As for Senator Pugh who is arguably the most qualified candidate and Baltimore’s best hope for all-inclusive economic growth – aka, the jobs our city desperately needs – her success raising money to date is promising. But she seems to be hoarding it. Raising money is only half of what she needs to overtake Sheila Dixon and win this. Spending her cash for name recognition and getting her message out to prospective voters – which will actually help her raise even more money – is the card she can’t wait too long to play.
The same comment applies to Elizabeth Embry who has spent less than $22,000 through the 13th. This is her first campaign and she may be overestimating how much time she has to go from last to first place. Winning elections is a process, not an event.