Super PAC spends $32K on Baltimore County executive candidate Vicki Almond

A political action committee formed to support Vicki Almond’s campaign for Baltimore County executive is reporting that it has spent tens of thousands of dollars on mailers — just days after noting it hadn’t raised or spent more than $1,000 in the race.

The Baltimore County Votes Political Action Committee spent nearly $32,000 on direct mail Friday. The day prior, the super PAC filed a report saying it hadn’t yet spent a significant amount of money in the race.

The new spending was disclosed in a report that the super PAC filed with state elections officials on Sunday that detailed a flurry of activity in recent days, including receiving $42,000 in donations and paying for the mailers.

The PAC reported receiving $30,100 in donations from individuals and companies, almost all of them dated Thursday.

Various entities related to Towson-based Caves Valley Partners — including various offshoots and top executives — gave a combined $17,500 to the PAC.

The rest of the donations, $12,600, came primarily from other development-related firms.

The Maryland State Education Association also transferred $12,000 to the PAC. Almond has been endorsed by the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.

Super PACs such as the Baltimore County Votes Political Action Committee are not allowed to coordinate with the candidates they support. Almond is the only candidate the committee is supporting, according to campaign finance documents.

Of the three leading candidates in the Democratic primary for county executive, Almond, a county councilwoman from Reisterstown, has benefited the most from outside spending.

In addition to the Baltimore County Votes PAC, Almond has been supported by the Baltimore County Victory Slate. That slate is a campaign account controlled by former County Executive Jim Smith that’s set up to benefit 15 candidates. But Almond’s campaign has been the main recipient of the Victory Slate’s funds.

The slate account transferred $20,000 to Almond’s campaign on June 6. Earlier in the year, the account paid expenses for some of Almond’s campaign employees.

And in the last week, mailers paid for by the Baltimore County Victory Slate have landed in voters’ mailboxes promoting Almond and criticizing a rival candidate, state Sen. Jim Brochin of Cockeysville. The cost of those mailers hasn’t been reported yet.

The third leading Democrat in the primary, Johnny Olszewski Jr., a former state delegate, also has benefited from outside spending.

Service Employees International Union’s Maryland State Council reported spending nearly $25,000 on June 8 for a mailer to promote Olszewski. He also is part of the Baltimore County Future Slate, which spent about $3,500 on newspaper ads and postage for the campaign.

Early voting runs through Thursday, and the primary election day is June 26.

Heading into the final stretch of the campaign, Almond had the most cash on hand with about $241,000 in the bank, according to the latest campaign finance reports filed last week. Olszewski had about $218,000, while Brochin had only $37,000 in the bank, even after loaning himself $95,000.

The primaries will determine who will face off in November to become Baltimore County executive. Kevin Kamenetz, a Democrat who held the job for two terms and was running for governor, died suddenly last month. The County Council selected Don Mohler, Kamenetz’s chief of staff, to serve the rest of his term.

pwood@baltsun.com

twitter.com/pwoodreporter

This story was updated to correct the name of the Service Employees International Union’s Maryland State Council.
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