The money difference in Howard's county executive race is about the same as it was in January, according to the latest round of campaign finance reports released by both candidates.
With $732,325.43 in cash on hand, Democratic candidate Courtney Watson, a County Council member, has more than twice as many funds as Republican candidate Allan Kittleman, a state senator who reported having $312,728.47 to spend as of May 20.
The numbers are on par with the funds each candidate reported at the end of the last filing period in January of this year, when Watson had $721,298 in funds to spend and Kittleman had $329,495.26.
Watson collected $142,135.22 over the 4 1/2-month fundraising period, which lasted from Jan. 9 to May 20. Kittleman raised $84,338.98.
Tuesday afternoon, Watson's campaign sent a message to supporters with an update on the numbers. Watson wrote that she had attended 250 community meetings and received 388 donations "from across the county" since January.
Wednesday, she said the campaign was "very encouraged by the response we've seen so far.
"I'm working hard to get to as many community events as possible so we can listen to what people have to say about the future of Howard County," she added.
Kittleman said he was also encouraged by the numbers, particularly because a majority of the fundraising period took place during his last 90-day legislative session in Annapolis. Although, as a local candidate, he was not covered by a ban on fundraising for state candidates serving in office during the session, he had pledged not to hold fundraisers in Annapolis.
"I think it's by far the best we've done in a short period of time," he said of the numbers. "I think it shows that people realize this is going to be a race… I have a good chance of winning and people are energized."
The second round of campaign finance numbers before the primary on June 24 will be released June 13. Neither Watson nor Kittleman faces a primary challenge.
Check back over the next few days for reports on fundraising in other races and more in-depth analyses.