Bolstered by 43 contributions of $1,000 each, Baltimore County Del. Gerry L. Brewster leads the money-raising contest among those planning to run for Maryland's 2nd Congressional District seat this year.
The Towson Democrat has raised $60,743 and still had $57,209 on hand Dec. 31, according to the report his campaign filed with the Federal Election Commission.
His most prominent Republican counterpart, Baltimore County Del. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has raised only $10,441, but hopes to enlarge his treasury by $30,000 with a $50-per-ticket fund-raiser tonight at the Dundalk Marine Terminal.
The two legislators are considered likely combatants in the November race to succeed Republican Helen Delich Bentley, who is leaving Congress to run for governor. The 2nd District covers eastern and northern Baltimore County, all of Harford County, and a thin slice of Anne Arundel County along the Chesapeake Bay.
Mr. Ehrlich's efforts to finance his campaign were hurt by a new Federal Election Commission ruling that barred him from using $21,000 he had collected over the past two years for a re-election campaign, including proceeds from a golf fund-raiser last May. The ruling prohibits the transfer of money from local to federal campaigns.
"That was very disappointing . . . that was my seed money," Mr. Ehrlich said yesterday. He said he will contribute the money to the state and local campaigns of his political allies.
Of the $10,445 Mr. Ehrlich has raised, almost half came from his own pocket, and his FEC report showed only $728.77 on hand. Among his larger contributions were $1,000 from the Baltimore Gas and Electric Political Action Committee and $500 from the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association PAC.
Several large contributions to Mr. Brewster's effort came from family members; he contributed $1,000 of his own money. Other contributions came from executives of companies based in other states. Only 74 of his 208 individual contributions were for more than $100, and 177 of the gifts were from Marylanders.
Tennis star Pam Shriver gave $1,000, and developer James W. Rouse gave $500. The Mercantile Bank and BG&E; PACs each gave $1,000.
Another Democratic candidate, Barbara O. Kreamer of Aberdeen, a former Harford County Councilwoman and former state delegate, reported raising $16,012, with $12,870 on hand. There were only two gifts of $1,000 or more.
Ms. Kreamer also reported debts of $35,493 from an unsuccessful 1990 congressional campaign in the 1st District, which then included part of Harford County. Almost $11,000 of that debt represents money she lent to the campaign.
Others have filed to run in the 2nd District, but have not raised or spent the $5,000 minimum that triggers federal reporting requirements.
William J. Frank of Rodgers Forge is the only other Republican who has declared.
Democrats include James Edward DeLoach Jr., Joseph John Bish Jr. of Bel Air, both unsuccessful candidates in the 1992 congressional primary, and Kauko H. Kokkonen, a men's rights activist.