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Anne Arundel County

One Anne Arundel County executive candidate has more than $600,000 in campaign funds as election season nears

Anne Arundel County Council member Jessica Haire is leading in campaign donations and contributions for the county executive race with $619,094 on hand, according to newly filed campaign finance reports.

Haire, a Republican, has raised a total of $817,279 and has spent $321,096 in expenditures, with $134,984 going into TV commercials. She has also committed $500,000 of her personal funds to her campaign.

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Since announcing her candidacy in June, Haire said she has received support countywide and outraised all of her primary opponents combined, even without the personal loan.

“We will continue to utilize our resources to communicate directly with the voters about the renewed, common-sense focus our administration will bring to lowering taxes, controlling government spending and supporting law enforcement,” Haire said in a statement.

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“With respect to the loan, I believe in a better future for our county and am personally committed to our shared success. Unlike my opponents, I’m not just spending other people’s money.”

The campaign fundraising reports, which were due to state election officials by 12:01 a.m. Jan. 20, cover the past 12 months of activity.

Current County Executive Steuart Pittman is second in the race with $384,894 in his campaign fund. Pittman, a Democrat, said raising money for elections isn’t his favorite part of the process and he wants it to be easier for people who don’t have access to large amounts of funds to be able to run for office.

Pittman said he is in a much better place than he was four years when he only had around $100,000 raised at that point. As of Jan. 19, he has raised $408,350 total while spending $261,463 in expenditures.

“I always wanted to have a lot of small donors and expand the donor base, but we have made progress on that and we have some that have never given to campaigns before,” Pittman said. “The smaller donors, they become more invested in local politics and issues.”

At this point in the 2018 election against then-County Executive Steve Schuh, Pittman had spent about $11,800 to Schuh’s roughly $466,000, according to campaign finance reports from January 2018. Schuh had more than $1 million on hand compared with Pittman’s $91,513 on Jan. 17, 2018.

Pittman said he was surprised to see how much his Republican rivals had available to spend. He plans to spend most of his funds on a ground team to get them knocking on doors, making phone calls and sending postcards. He said he will do some paid TV commercials but thinks it is too early in the race for that.

“They raised significant amounts of money, but they spent most of it already and we aren’t in the primary campaigns,” he added. “This gives us a lot of confidence that the opposition is weak. I look forward to campaigning and making our case to the voters.”

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Republican candidate Herb McMillan said he is excited by the support he has received from county families and small-business owners that helped him reach his first fundraising goal of $250,000. He currently has $198,994 in his campaign fund, according to the finance report.

“I’m committed to running a strong, tightly budgeted campaign. I’ll spend your contributions wisely, just as I will your tax dollars because it’s your money. I’ll always work hard to justify your support,” McMillan said in a statement.

McMillan, who is a former state delegate, said his campaign is running a tight, responsible campaign with focused spending. He has spent a total of $71,570 on campaign expenditures.

“I’m confident voters who are tired of fat-cats and special interests running the show will help us stay on track with fundraising,” he added. “I’ve been knocking on doors and attending community events to meet voters personally, listen to their concerns, and share my record of proven experience and trusted, conservative, leadership.”

Chris Jahn is at the bottom of the list when it comes to campaign funds with $2,382 on hand. The Republican has raised a total of $3,455 and has spent $1,097 in expenditures.

Jahn did not respond to requests for comment in time for this article.

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The 2022 primary election is June 28, with the general election following Nov. 8.


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