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Baltimore mayoral candidate David Warnock loans campaign nearly $1 million

Businessman David Warnock is running for Baltimore mayor.
Businessman David Warnock is running for Baltimore mayor. (Lloyd Fox / Baltimore Sun)

Baltimore mayoral candidate David L. Warnock, the venture capitalist and philanthropist, said Friday he has loaned his campaign nearly $1 million — a figure that surpasses what most leading candidates typically raise.

Warnock said in a statement that he loaned himself $950,000 and raised about $360,000, a total of about $1.3 million. His campaign declined to release a detailed financial report. Those are due Wednesday.


"We have a very targeted direct-voter plan," said Krishana Davis, Warnock's campaign spokeswoman. "Our fundraising dollars will go toward making sure that we are connected in all areas and neighborhoods of Baltimore and are able to talk to the voters about what matters to them most."

Warnock also released a preview of his policy plan that calls for increasing demolition of vacant houses, providing better job training for city residents and requiring annual audits of city agencies, among other proposals.

In the last mayoral election, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the winner, spent more than $2 million, while state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, the runner-up, spent more than $700,000. They were followed by third-place finisher Otis Rolley, who spent more than $400,000, and fourth-place finisher Joseph T. "Jody" Landers, who spent nearly $200,000.

"I invested in my campaign because I am invested in Baltimore — its people, its schools, its education, its communities and its neighborhoods," Warnock said in a statement. "Baltimore deserves a leader who is willing to fully invest in the health, growth and stability of our city."

Twelve Democrats — and 20 candidates total — are running to become Baltimore's next mayor. Rawlings-Blake is not seeking re-election.

Leading candidates include former Mayor Sheila Dixon, Pugh, City Council members Carl Stokes and Nick J. Mosby, and lawyer Elizabeth Embry.

Pugh recently purchased $3,000 in advertising time on cable channels. One of her commercials aired Thursday on CNN. It endorsed, among other policies, a return of the city school system to mayoral control. The mayor and governor currently share responsibility for appointing the school board.

Some candidates in City Council races have begun posting their campaign fund totals as well. CSX Vice President Brian W. Hammock, who is challenging incumbent Councilman Bill Henry in North Baltimore's 4th District, reported raising more than $110,000 — a large total for a council race.

Hammock's money includes a $3,000 transfer from state Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat; a $3,000 contribution from developer Mark Sapperstein; a $2,000 contribution from former Gov. Martin O'Malley's "O' Say Can You See" federal political action committee; and a $1,000 contribution from lobbyist Sean Malone, among others. Henry challenged Conway unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2014.

"It's humbling to have that level of support both from the community and business leaders and public policy leaders," Hammock said. "We need to make a change on our City Council."

City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, who represents the 14th District, also in North Baltimore, reported raising more than $50,000 in her re-election bid. She faces three challengers.

City Councilman James B. Kraft, who represents Southeast Baltimore's 1st District, reported raising about $27,000 in his race for Baltimore Circuit Court judge. He has more than $122,000 on hand.

Financial literacy teacher Tony Christian, who is challenging 2nd District Councilman Brandon Scott in Northeast Baltimore, raised slightly more than $1,000.