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Monday, August 12, 2013

Clagett, Young lead in fundraising among mayoral candidates

George Wenschhof

The first campaign finance reports were filed Monday by the candidates for mayor and aldermen in The City of Frederick election. The city website has them here.

As, one might have expected, Democrats; Maryland state delegate Galen Clagett and alderman Karen Young raised the most among the mayoral candidates. 

Clagett raised $60,425, spent $56,083.34 and had $4,341.66 cash on hand.  Young reported raising $49,351, with expenditures of $27,218.20 and with some carry over funds; she has a balance of $25,751.98 in the all important cash on hand.

Democratic mayoral candidate Carol Hirsch did not file a report.

On the Republican side, incumbent mayor Randy McClement raised $10,960, spent $7,890 with a balance of $3,070.

Alderman Shelley Aloi, who also had carry-over funds from her previous campaign, raised $3,532 and spent $5,064, leaving her with a balance of $3,077.  Former mayor Jeff Holtzinger reported $740 raised, $42 spent with a balance of $698.

Unaffiliated candidate Jennifer Dougherty reported a total amount of funds raised of $6,027.01, expenditures of $4,839.52 and a balance of $1,187.49.  Jennifer contributed the bulk of her contributions with a total of $4,631.

While, the amount of money raised by a candidate certainly signals financial strength, it does not always predict a winner.  In the 2005 election, Democratic candidate Ron Young raised over $135,000 and while he defeated incumbent Democratic mayor Jennifer Dougherty in the primary, he would lose the general election to political neophyte Republican Jeff Holtzinger.

With the first finance reports filed, you can bet campaigns will be pouring over other campaign reports, reviewing contributions and expenditures, looking for anything that may jump out and impact the primary election held on September 10.

Leading all candidates with $60,425 in contributions, you can expect Clagett’s report to be eyeballed closely.

A quick glance shows he received a total of $10,000 from five different entities with the same address of 24024 Frederick Road, Clarksburg, Maryland, and he received a total of $20,000 from nine different entities who shared the same address of 7420 Haywood Road, Ste 203 Frederick, Maryland. 

The campaign limits per entity is $2,500 and none of the entities exceeded that figure.

Karen Young sent me an analysis (you can read here) of the Clagett campaign fundraising and expenditures where she identifies the $10,000 coming from entities associated with Pleasants construction and the $20,000 coming from entities associated with Marvin Ausherman. 

Overall, her analysis shows the Clagett campaign received 67.3% from Developers/Real Estate, 17.8% from Individuals, 10.3% from political campaigns/PAC and 4.6% from Business.
Young shared with me "I am pleased with the results of my fundraising to date.  My fundraising goal was to raise money from a broad and diverse group of constituents.  To date, my contributions are 64% from individuals and 36% from business."
Interestingly, Young herself also received contributions with the same address of 114 Baughmans Lane Frederick, Maryland from three different entities totaling $7,500.  The business at that address is Fitzgerald.

With $25,751 cash on hand, Karen Young is positioned best for the home stretch prior to the primary election, among all of the mayoral candidates with Clagett having $4,341 and Republican candidates Mayor McClement ($3,070) and alderman Shelley Aloi ($3.077) lagging far behind.

The Democratic and Republican primaries for mayor promise to be tight. With Karen Young having six times the cash on hand that Galen Clagett has, you can expect the Clagett campaign to be actively raising funds over the next four weeks.  Look for a close race in the Democratic primary.

The Republican mayoral primary also looks too close to call between Aloi and McClement.  Don’t underestimate Aloi, who surprised many with her strong alderman showing four years ago.

Republican Phil Dacey ($10,066) led all alderman candidates in funds raised, followed by Democratic candidate John Daniels ($8,145).
When I asked John Daniels how he felt about raising the most money among Democratic alderman candidates he said "I am really appreciative of the financial contributions and encouragement I have received through out this campaign. I will continue to work hard, spend those contributions wisely and, when elected, I will work hard for all residents of Frederick."

Other alderman candidates who were top fund raisers were Republicans Katie Nash ($7,225) and David Schmidt ($7,035) and Democratic candidates Josh Bokee ($4,460) and Derek Shackelford ($4,029).

The primary election is only four weeks away when Republican and Democratic voters will determine their mayoral candidate and five alderman candidates to move on to the general election on November 5.

Stay tuned.
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