If Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. felt threatened toward the end of his hotly contested re-election race against Democratic challenger Connie Galiazzo DeJuliis, his latest campaign finance report doesn't show it.
After-election reports, which were due Thursday at the Federal Election Commission, show that Ehrlich had $125,000 in the bank after the Nov. 5 election. The GOP freshman won his second term with 62 percent of the vote.
DeJuliis reported a $588 balance.
"We've got a balance sheet that looks like IBM," said Robert McKinney, Ehrlich's campaign manager. "If we had felt we were in any danger, we had a cushion there to buy advertising. Our numbers stayed consistent from day one."
DeJuliis and Betty Deacon, her campaign manager, said the imbalance was a major factor in the candidate's defeat.
"I had a primary race," DeJuliis said, referring to her March 5 victory over several challengers. "We ended up at the end of the TTC primary with about $30,000." That compared with roughly $300,000 that Ehrlich, with no serious primary rivals, had available.
That meant Ehrlich could afford to begin television advertising in September -- weeks before DeJuliis -- and also could afford radio ads, which DeJuliis couldn't. The perception that Ehrlich was ahead also hurt DeJuliis' fund-raising efforts toward the end, other Democrats say.
In the final reporting period, covering the last two weeks of the campaign and through Nov. 25, DeJuliis reported raising $55,110 and spending $88,423.
Ehrlich, by contrast, raised $71,039 and spent $179,302 during that period.
Much of Ehrlich's money -- $99,000 -- was spent to produce or buy broadcast time for media advertisements, compared with $52,700 spent for that purpose by the DeJuliis campaign.
In addition to the funds spent directly by the candidates, other groups -- such as the Democratic and Republican central committees, the AFL-CIO and business groups -- independently spent money on the campaigns.
Since his election in 1994, Ehrlich has raised $935,000, compared with $616,000 raised by DeJuliis since she started running Jan. 1, 1996.
Moreover, Ehrlich exceeded his fund-raising goal of $800,000; DeJuliis fell about $200,000 short of hers, which Deacon said last summer was $850,000.
Pub Date: 12/10/96