Ulman's fundraising soars compared to Kittleman's

Ken Ulman raised so much more money in the past seven weeks than Trent Kittleman, his rival for Howard County executive, that she burst into laughter Friday night upon hearing the numbers.

Ulman, 36 and a Democrat, raised $128,353, compared with Republican Kittleman's $6,524, and half of her money came from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele's former Maryland campaign fund.

Ulman spent nearly a quarter of a million dollars during the period, compared to Kittleman's $17,612, and he has $626,247 left to spend with a week to go, compared to her $5,019.

"I just think it's such a disparity," Kittleman, 65, said after a hearty laugh. "It may be that's what we're coming to, but I hope not," she said about the state of political fundraising in relatively small Howard. Kittleman, a former high-ranking Ehrlich administration transportation official, said she has stopped pushing to raise money "because it's such a chore."

Kittleman has run a quiet, low-profile campaign, hoping that the national mood of voter unrest and anger with incumbent Democrats might help her. Ulman, too, has run a quiet campaign, using his public appearances as executive to advertise himself and some of his extra resources to back other county Democrats.

Ulman said he's not paying attention to how much money other candidates have raised: "I'm just focused on our own plan."

Although several Republican-sponsored polls have indicated that Kittleman is competitive, if behind, in the county executive race, political donors don't appear to share that confidence. County Council candidate Dennis R. Schrader donated $2,000 worth of polling services as an in-kind contribution to produce one of those poll results. Ulman has said his latest poll shows him far ahead of Kittleman, who has never held elective office.

She received $4,000 more in similar in-kind contributions, which were used to purchase copies of her book, "Why Must There Be Dragons," which discusses improving workplace communications. Kittleman, an attorney and private consultant, has been giving the books out as a form of campaign literature.

She is one of three former high-ranking officials who served under Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., the Republican nominee for governor this year, who are running for public office in Howard County. Schrader was Ehrlich's Homeland Security director, and Robert L. Flanagan was state transportation secretary. They are both running for County Council.

larry.carson@baltsun.com

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