Last year, when Roger B. Hayden was running a long-shot race as the Republican candidate for Baltimore County executive, he had to give away half his $15 tickets to fill a small room at Timonium Fairgrounds with 200 people, according to a campaign worker.
Last night, County Executive Hayden filled an exhibition hall nearby with more than 2,300 people. The tickets cost $50 each.
Assuming everyone paid, Hayden raised in one night, before expenses, about $130,000 -- an amount nearly equal to what he raised for the primary and general election campaigns in 1990.
The parade of appointees and Democratic officeholders and Democratic money men -- including former Belvedere Hotel owner Victor Frenkil -- prompted several people to comment that the candidate may be different, but the ticket-buyers were the same ones who helped fill former Executive Dennis F. Rasmussen's much swankier $100-a-ticket affairs at the Towson Center.
State Sen. Thomas L. Bromwell, the Democratic leader of the county's state Senate delegation and a close ally of Rasmussen's last year, said he was just taking a page out of the Republican playbook.
"Republicans always attended Democratic fund-raisers," Bromwell said, adding that "in three years, we'll talk about 'Rs' and 'Ds,' " meaning political party affiliations.
All of the county's state senators attended except Democrats Janice Piccinini and Michael J. Collins.