The Friends of Billy Boniface are putting their bucks behind their friendship in supporting his run for Harford County executive. Boniface, who is challenging Republican state Sen. Robert “Bob” Cassilly for the county’s top seat, has raised the most money of the two candidates and has nearly $300,000 in his bank account going into this year’s election.
Between Jan. 14, 2021, and Jan. 12 of this year, Boniface’s campaign took in a total of $375,350, with $293,579.04 remaining in the bank. Boniface also scored the most money in ticket purchases, $247,565, with cash contributions of $119,290. The campaign came into 2022 with a prior balance of $107,759.65.
The Friends of Billy Boniface listed additional funds from the MD Candidate and Slate Accounts ($995), MD Political Action Committees ($6,500) and Other ($1,000).
Boniface invested heavily in promotions and fundraising. The campaign reported media expenses of $30,088.44, printing and campaign materials cost $63,953.41, and postage $5,111.62. Unlike Cassily’s campaign, the Boniface team reported $0 for direct mailing by a mail house. Fundraising expenses totaled $52,697.89.
Additional expenditures included salaries and other compensation, $4,800; rent and other office expenses, $6,432.45; field expenses, $1,204.28; transfers out $2,750.44; and other, $21,492.08. The campaign also reported a $1,000 contribution that was returned.
Total expenditures came to $189,530.61. The campaign valued in-kind contributions at $27,691.82.
As the chief adviser to the current county executive, Boniface is well traveled throughout the community and his donor base reflects his work in getting projects completed around the county. Several land developers, homebuilders and construction services firms gave to his campaign, among them Forest Hill, LLC, $8,500; Hillel Halberstam of Pikesville-based SynerGen Solar, LLC ($7,500); Emerald Partners, $5,000; Robert Ward of Ward Properties, $4,550, and Ward Communities @ Harford Co., LLC, $1,500; High Ridge Properties $5,000, and Hill Management Services, Inc., both of Hunt Valley, $1,250; Crouse Construction, $3,500; Colony at Beards Hill, $3,000; Bay State Land Services, $2,500; Land Development Services, $2,500; Halp Ridgely Water and Sewer Utility Co. of Owings Mills, $2,000; Battaglia Homes, $1,500; and Burkentine & Sons Builders, $1,500.
Private and corporate contributors from the local business community included Thomas Kelso of Matrix Capital Markets Groups, $6,000; Bradley Stover of Shaffer, McLauchlin and Stover, LLC, $2,500; Thomas Run Tree Svc LLC $2,200; Harford Mutual, $2,000; Frank Hajek, Hajek and Associates, $2,000; Jim Halsey of the Cecil County Dragway, $1,000; Locksley Manor, $1,500; and Ivy Hill Nursery Co., $1,500.
Several donations also came in from outside of the region, including Jonathan Litsey of Sidley Austin, LLP in Mooresville, NC, $3,000; Technivate of Landenberg, Pa., $3,000; and J.L. Gossert & Co. Forestry of York, Pa., $1,500.
Boniface also received Maryland $1,000 from the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.
A Harford County native whose family ties to the county go back to the 1800s, Cassilly previously served as mayor of Bel Air and a member of the County Council. Cassilly was elected to the General Assembly in 2015 and is in his second term.
As of Jan. 19, the filing date for campaign finance reports in the state, Citizens for Bob Cassilly had a cash balance of $216,806.13. That includes a prior balance of $98,487.09.
Between Jan. 14, 2021, to Jan. 12 of this year, his campaign raised $203,500 including contributions of $201,906 and ticket sales of $1,594.
The report also outlined total expenditures of $85,180.96 which included $28,210.75 in fundraising expenses, $8,033 for field expenses, $390.85 for rent and $6,372.52 in other miscellaneous expenses.
Roughly half of the campaign’s expenses went toward getting the word out about Cassilly’s run for county executive. His campaign spent $42,173.84: on media, $15,472.96; printing and campaign materials, $15,370.61; direct mailing by mail house, $11,108.42; and postage $221.85.
His campaign valued in-kind contributions for that period at $9,530.74.
Typical with campaigns for local offices, the list of donors to Cassilly’s campaign include homebuilders, developers and other construction services: Land Investment Group of Churchville, $2,000; Goddard Companies of Towson $2,000, and Fallston, $125; Beacon Homes, $1,000; Bay State Land Services $1,250; and Bay State Geo-Structural in Bel Air, $500. The Maryland Multi-Family Housing Association gave $1,000.
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Bel Air-based Harford Mutual Insurance Group, which also has Harford County roots from the 1800s, is the largest corporate donor to Cassilly’s campaign during this period, giving a total of $6,000. The office of lobbyist Bruce Bereano was the campaign’s largest one-time donor, making a $5,400 donation.
Car dealerships round out the list of corporate donors – Jones Junction, $1,000; Thompson Toyota, $805; and Cook Motorcars in Aberdeen, $500, among them.
Drawing on Cassily’s prominence in the statehouse, he garnered donations from several political action committees, including national PACs with ties to the region such as General Motors ($500) and Exelon ($250). Other PAC contributions came from the Maryland Realtors PAC ($2,500) and the Maryland Bankers PAC ($500).
Notable contributions came from the Harford County Deputy Sheriffs PAC, which made four donations totaling $2,250, $1,000 from the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police, and $500 from the Baltimore County Lodge #4 FOP PAC Fund.
Financial support from other political campaigns included Joe Cluster for Maryland, $1,000; the Committee to Elect Jeff Gahler, $545; and Friends of Tony Giangiordano, $125.
Several family members made donations of $1,000 or less including his brother’s fundraising arm, Citizens for Andrew Cassilly, which gave $900.
A third candidate, Blane Miller, who is running as a Democrat, has not filed a campaign finance report. He told The Aegis earlier this week that his campaign is self-financed.