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Hogan's black-tie fundraiser expected to net $1.5 million

Erin Cox
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's black-tie fundraiser is expected to raise $1.5 million in one night.

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan hosted a black-tie fundraiser in a downtown Baltimore hotel Thursday that was expected to raise $1.5 million for his re-election campaign.

That sum, confirmed by a Hogan campaign adviser, would match the amount the first-term governor spent on his entire primary campaign in 2014.

An invitation to the gala listed tickets at $10,000 to $25,000 per table. The Baltimore Waterfront Marriott ballroom — which seats 1,200 — was expected to be sold out, according to people familiar with the event.

Hogan's former campaign manager and current adviser, Steve Crim, said attendees would see an eight- to 10-minute video documenting the governor's first two years in office.

Joe Cluster, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party, said the event also would raise some money for the party.

Hogan has taken a mostly hands-off approach to the state party, skipping major fundraisers and endorsing only a handful of candidates in this year's election.

The popular governor secured a surprise win two years ago running on a platform of reining in spending. He won the election in part by persuading independents and disaffected Democrats to vote for him.

Hogan has portrayed himself as a bipartisan pragmatist in a state in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 2-1. He also has been quick to spar with the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. Public opinion polls this year have put the governor's approval rating above 70 percent.

Maryland campaign finance laws cap individual contributions to candidates at $6,000 per election cycle. But donors can give separately to Hogan's re-election campaign and to that of his running mate, Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. They also can give to a fund the state GOP set up to boost voter turnout.

Two Democrats have said publicly they're considering bids against Hogan in 2018: Del. Maggie McIntosh of Baltimore and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.

ecox@baltsun.com

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