Kittleman ramps up campaign war chest, leads county in fundraising

Kittleman ramps up campaign war chest, leads county in fundraising

With the 2018 election a little over two years away, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has pooled a sizable campaign coffer — outpacing the funds of previous county executives in their first two years of office.

Kittleman has $725,259 in the bank and raised $434,464 last year, according to campaign finance reports filed last week.

But the Republican, only the second to serve on the Democratic-majority county's top seat, is tight-lipped about his future political plans.

In an interview Monday, Kittleman said he is considering running for a second term and expects to make a decision "in the near future."

Kittleman's fundraising totals this year are more than the fundraising totals last year of all the county council members combined.

Campaign finance reports filed last year showed he had raised $571,995.

In the latest filing report, about 58 percent of the $434,464 Kittleman collected in the past year — around $253,415 — came from businesses, groups and organizations. These entities made up about 29 percent of the number of separate contributions.

Individuals contributed around $167,783 of the total amount Kittleman's raised — nearly 38 percent — and made up nearly 67 percent of the total number of separate contributions.

Kittleman said his fundraising totals indicate the support of the community.

"I take it as a compliment that people want to invest in that possibility again," Kittleman said. "It makes me feel good that the people support what we have done over the last two years."

Nearly three-fourths of Kittleman's contributions were $500 or less, and nearly 22 percent were above or equal to $1,000.

No candidates have officially declared they will run for county executive in 2018.

In comparison, former county executive Ken Ulman, a Democrat, raised $269,964 and had $303,610 in the bank within the first two years of his first term.

That amount ballooned to upwards of $3 million as Ulman ran for lieutenant governor of Maryland on a ticket with incumbent Lieutenant Gov. Anthony Brown in 2014. His account now rests at less than $2,300.

County Councilman Calvin Ball, a Democrat who has served in the Council since 2006, is also mum about his political future. He raised $92,362 last year and has $107,363 in the bank, according to an amended report filed Monday.

A run for county executive is among options Ball is considering. But for now, he says he's focusing on sustaining a high-quality school system and, more recently, helping vulnerable residents feel safe within the county through his sanctuary bill.

"I am sure there will be plenty of time to work out who is running for what office in 2018, but I have yet to make any final determination as to what that means for me," Ball said.

Fundraising of other council members varied significantly. Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty raised no funds and has $28,364 in the bank while Councilwoman Jen Terrasa raised $16,258 and has $29,606 in the bank. Councilman Jon Weinstein, who is the only current council member who can run for re-election in 2018 because of term limits, raised $27,286 and has $60,035 in the bank. Councilman Greg Fox did not raise any funds and has $20,423 in the bank.

Other local elected officials include state Sen. Guy Guzzone, who has $166,656 in the bank; and state Del. Clarence Lam, who has $51,359 in the bank.

Kittleman received seven contributions at the maximum cap of $6,000 from the following individuals and organizations:

• TCA Architects Inc., a California-based firm that specializes in architecture, planning and urban design.

• Preston Scheffenacker Properties I, a real-estate and investment company in Towson.

• Preston Drake Architects LLC of Vienna.

• The Preston Partnership LLC of Atlanta, Ga.

• Breeden Mechanical Inc. of Manassas Va.

• Two donations from individuals Anthony Roussos of Pasadena, and Gina Manganaro, of Annapolis.

Weinstein plans to introduce legislation this year that would create a citizen-funded campaign system that matches campaign contributions with public funds. The idea passed the ballot in November.

Kittleman opposed using public dollars for the initiative.

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