Maybe there's an explanation, maybe there was a technological glitch, but the deadline has passed and one of the leading contenders for the Republican nomination for governor in 2014 does not have his campaign finance report for last year online.
Harford County Executive David R. Craig is the only one of the four Democrats and two Republicans believed to be considering a race to succeed term-limited Gov. Martin O'Malley whose campaign disclosure was not posted before midnight. Repeated calls to the campaign and the county executive's office Wednesday were not returned -- a strange departure for the normally accessible Craig.
The failure to file -- and the silence of the Craig team -- raise questions about whether the Harford executive had a disappointing fundraising year. Before 2010 Craig, a popular county executive with experience in the General Assembly, would have been an obvious front-runner. But with the ascendence of the tea party movement, the candidacy of Blaine Young, the staunchly conservative president of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners, looks increasingly credible.
Young filed his report early, showing that he raised neary $450,000 for his stlll-unannounced campaign for governor.
For filing his report late Craig would have to pay a relatively small fine, but the political fallout could far exceed the financial impact. The biggest casualty could be the perception of Craig as the front-runner for the GOP nomination.
As of 12:28 a.m. Craig's report is still not posted on the State Board of Elections website. There's something going on here that demands an explanation. Serious candidates for governor do not miss reporting deadlines.
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