Some more congressional fundraising nuggets from the 6th and 2nd districts - Maryland Matters (2024)

Some more congressional fundraising nuggets from the 6th and 2nd districts - Maryland Matters (1)

April McClain Delaney, one of 13 Democrats seeking the open 6th District congressional seat, buttressed a solid fundraising quarter with $550,000 of her own money, bringing the total her campaign collected in the first three months of the year to $839,302.

That’s just one of the nuggets that come from congressional candidates’ recent campaign finance reports, which were filed with the Federal Election Commission on Monday. The documents cover fundraising and spending activities between Jan. 1 and March 31.

Delaney, a former top official at the U.S. Department of Commerce and the wife of former Rep. John Delaney (D), who held the seat from 2013 to 2019, remains the top fundraiser —and spender —in the Democratic primary, helping to boost her profile in the sprawling district, which takes in part of Montgomery County and most of Western Maryland.

Two other Democrats, Del. Joe Vogel of Montgomery County and Hagerstown Mayor Tekesha Martinez, continue to also raise money at a steady clip in the race to replace Rep. David Trone (D), with six-figure hauls of their own over the past three months. Another Democrat, attorney Peter Choharis, reported raising more than $103,000 since January, but that take included $25,000 from his own pocket.

In the Republican primary in the 6th District, which is expected to be Maryland’s most competitive district in the general election, two candidates took in more than six figures to start 2024, Navy veteran Tom Royals and former Del. Neil C. Parrott, the two-time GOP nominee. Another perceived frontrunner in the Republican scrum, former Del. Dan Cox, who was the 2022 GOP nominee for governor, was far behind on the fundraising front.

When Delaney joined the race for Congress, she was expected to dip into her personal fortune to help fund her campaign, but she purposely decided not to for her first fundraising report, in a bid to show her political strength. But that strategy has changed as the May 14 primary draws nearer.

Including the $550,000 of her own that she put in, Delaney’s take for the campaign overall is $1,375,859. She has spent $593,717.44 and finished March with $782,141.56 in the bank.

Delaney’s noteworthy donations this quarter included $10,000 from PAC to the Future, a political action committee controlled by former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), another $4,000 from Pelosi’s campaign committee, $3,300 from Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate activist, $2,000 from U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), and $2,500 from the National Auto Dealers. AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby, served as a conduit for $24,600 in contributions, according to Delaney’s campaign report.

Earlier this month, Delaney began airing her second ad of the campaign, focusing on technology and kids’ health.

“I worked in the Biden administration to expand broadband, and I helped build a national nonprofit dedicated to protecting kids online,” she says in the ad. “In Congress, I’ll work to reign in Big Tech, improve online security, and expand mental health services.”

Vogel, who has shown surprising strength during this campaign, used Delaney’s self-funding as an attack line this week.

“Potomac mega millionaire April McClain Delaney has finally shown her true colors,” he said. “McClain Delaney thinks she can buy her way to victory, but the voters in Maryland’s 6th Congressional District see right through her tactics, and know when candidates have deep connections rooted in the district and when they don’t.”

Delaney’s campaign hit back.

“Joe Vogel and his dark money are running an old, tired, negative campaign,” said Delaney’s campaign manager, Nick London. “April will take on MAGA Republicans, Trump and defend a woman’s right to choose. Which is why she’s praised by David Trone and endorsed by Nancy Pelosi. And she has the resources and experience to win in November.”

Vogel’s own report showed he raised $231,034.41 between Jan. 1 and March 31, and has collected $610,790.32 overall. This quarter’s take included $37,750 in PAC contributions. He finished March with $234,611 on hand, after spending $191,628.95 in the previous three months.

Martinez’s fundraising has also defied expectations. She raised $196,965.95 over the past three months for a total of $522,618.62 since she joined the race. She was sitting on $257,938.44 on March 31 after spending $45,489.93 in the previous three months.

Other than Choharis, who banked $96,002.13 on March 31, most of the other Democratic contenders have lagged behind on the fundraising front, which only goes to show that local and state politicians, however talented they may be, often have trouble scaling up to fund campaigns at the federal level. Here are a few examples:

  • Former Obama administration official Ashwani Jain raised $48,729 in the beginning of the year and finished March with $68,982.67 on hand
  • Del. Lesley J. Lopez (D-Montgomery) raised $44,545.96 and banked $28,126.04
  • Montgomery County Councilmember Laurie-Anne Sayles raised $22,809 and finished March with $17,625.66 in the bank

Among Republicans in the 6th District, Royals led the way on fundraising, bringing in $172,827.51 in the first three months of the year and raising $465,762.52 overall. He finished March with $97,088.50 on hand after spending $171,127.21 over the prior three months.

“With so much on the line, we cannot afford to nominate candidates with a proven track record of losing,” said Royals’ campaign manager, Brendan Duffy. “That is why hardworking families across Maryland’s 6th District are increasingly rallying around former combat aviator Tom Royals.”

Parrott had the biggest campaign war chest at the end of March, with $125,495.54 in the bank after raising $141,918.52 between Jan. 1 and March 31. He has pulled in $293,467.78 so far this election cycle.

Mariela Roca, an Air Force veteran and medical logistics specialist, was next in fundraising for the quarter, pulling in $55,540.43. But she only had $20,253.84 in the bank at the end of March.

Chris Hyser, a retired police officer, finished the reporting period with $105,158.32 in the bank after raising $50,622.46 in the first quarter of 2024.

Cox, the 2022 GOP gubernatorial nominee with ties to former President Donald Trump, only raised $39,461.59 in the first quarter and has collected $110,466.54 overall. He finished March with $42,699.09 on hand.

Cox, in an email solicitation to supporters on Tuesday evening that was partially written in red, wrote, “We are still $15k short of where we need to be for the final push on media, mail and digital.”

Meanwhile, former Del. Brenda J. Thiam (R-Washington) raised $20,789.63 and finished March with $13,453.09 in the bank.

2nd District

Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. (D), who is considered the top contender to replace retiring Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D), also led on the fundraising front, by a wide margin.

He reported raising $729,435.48 in his first few months as a candidate, and had $499,396.62 on hand on March 31 after spending $230,038.86. Olszewski’s take included $41,046 from PACs.

“Having the backing of so many individuals from across the district shows the momentum behind our campaign and the grassroots strength of this movement,” the candidate said.

The Democratic primary in the 2nd District includes Del. Harry Bhandari of Baltimore County, who reported raising $135,515.22 and finished March with $67,674.55 in the bank.

The leading Republican candidate is radio host and MAGA provocateur Kimberly Klacik, who raised an astonishing $8 million when she ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the 7th District in 2020. Her fundraising has gotten off to a considerably slower start so far. She reported raising $29,826.55, including $800 from her own pocket, and ended March with $8,687.55 in the bank.

Coming soon in Maryland Matters: A report from Wednesday night’s candidate forum in the 3rd District.

Some more congressional fundraising nuggets from the 6th and 2nd districts - Maryland Matters (2024)
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