Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend is collecting a significantly greater share of her campaign contributions from out of state than Republican Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., according to an analysis of fund-raising reports.
Almost 40 percent of the $6.7 million raised by Townsend in her campaign for governor came from contributors who live outside Maryland, compared with about 11 percent of the $3.7 million raised by Ehrlich.
Campaign finance reports filed yesterday also show that during the past nine months, the average Townsend contributor gave $468 - about $100 more than was donated by the average Ehrlich supporter.
The Ehrlich campaign contended that the influx of out-of-state contributions to Townsend makes clear that she is out of touch with Marylanders.
"It is further evidence that she cannot sell her record or her vision in Maryland," said Ehrlich spokesman Paul E. Schurick. "The people in Maryland are sick of the Glendening-Townsend record."
But a spokeswoman for Townsend dismissed that criticism, saying the contributions underscore the lieutenant governor's broad appeal.
"There is a lot of national interest and national support for the campaign," said Townsend spokeswoman Kate Philips. "Maryland is a progressive Democratic state, and there are a lot of people nationally who want to keep it that way. This is an important election."
For example, EMILY's List - a Washington-based advocacy group that bills itself as "a political network for pro-choice Democratic women" - has sent out a major mailing, appealing for support for Townsend and other female Democratic gubernatorial candidates.
Philips also pointed out that the money Townsend has raised from her Maryland supporters is about the same as the total amount raised by Ehrlich.
Both campaigns say they expect to need the millions they have raised for the expensive flurry of television advertising they will likely run after Labor Day. The two gubernatorial candidates in the 1998 election each spent about $6.2 million - an amount already exceeded by the $6.7 million raised by Townsend. Ehrlich also expects to surpass the 1998 figure.
Since early June, when Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley announced that he would not run for governor, Ehrlich has collected almost twice as much money as Townsend - about $1.5 million compared with $828,000.
During the nine months covered by the reports filed yesterday, Ehrlich has raised about $1 million more than Townsend. Townsend's campaign says the difference can be explained by the 90-day General Assembly session, when state office-holders are prohibited from fund raising.
But records show that even if those months were excluded from Ehrlich's totals, he still collected more money than Townsend during the other six months when she was permitted to seek contributions.
In all, almost 13,000 people and businesses have donated to Townsend's campaign, while Ehrlich's reports show that he has about 10,700 contributors.
An analysis of the fund-raising reports shows that outside of Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C., were the two biggest sources of donations for both campaigns - about 16 percent of Townsend's total contributions and about 5.5 percent of Ehrlich's.
Townsend also has raised at least $50,000 from contributors in New York, California, Massachusetts and Illinois.
As the eldest daughter of Robert F. Kennedy, Townsend has had a far higher national profile than Ehrlich, attracting support among well-known Democratic donors and others who have been drawn to the legacy of her father and of her uncle, President John F. Kennedy.
Television producer Norman Lear gave $4,000 to Townsend, as did Kevin Sharer, chief executive officer of California pharmaceutical giant Amgen Inc. Sumner Redstone, the chief executive officer of Viacom, gave Townsend $1,000.
The owners of the Baltimore Ravens appeared to split their money. Majority owner Arthur Modell previously gave to Ehrlich and Townsend, while minority owner Stephen J. Bisciotti - who is expected to purchase full control of the team in 2004 - and at least two members of his family recently gave $4,000 each to Ehrlich.
Gov. Parris N. Glendening sent $6,000 in leftover campaign contributions to Townsend.
In the race for state comptroller, former Gov. William Donald Schaefer reported raising $610,000 - including almost $140,000 since November - and he has almost $309,000 left to spend.
A campaign finance report for Schaefer's opponent in the Democratic primary, Secretary of State John T. Willis, was not available at the election board yesterday. Willis' campaign manager said the report shows that Willis has raised about $50,000, and he has big fund-raisers scheduled for Montgomery and Prince George's counties this week and next.
Sun electronic news editor Michael Himowitz contributed to this article.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun