Candidates raise almost $2 million; Donors in mayor race cross over to bank on more than one hopeful; O'Malley spends $400,000; Stokes has $140,857 left for final push; Bell total unavailable


In a furious fund-raising finish to the mayoral primary, newly filed campaign reports show the amount contributed to the top candidates is pushing $2 million, with business leaders now crossing over to donate to more than one candidate in the tight race.

City Councilman Martin J. O'Malley appears to have been active in the period covered by the report -- Aug. 11 through Aug. 29 -- the last filing before the Sept. 14 primary. O'Malley's campaign has brought in $251,000 in the past three weeks, bringing his total to $695,450 since he entered the race June 22, campaign reports show.

O'Malley also spent most of the money, pouring almost $400,000 into an intensive media campaign that includes television commercials and radio ads. Reports show he has $68,000 remaining in his campaign fund.

One of O'Malley's chief rivals, former City Councilman Carl Stokes, also reported strong campaign support over the past three weeks, raising $193,800, according to the latest report. The new cash brings Stokes' total to $480,914, well below the estimated $1 million that Stokes once predicted would be necessary to win the race.

However, Stokes closed the reporting period and heads into the final days of the primary race with $140,857 remaining.

Campaign reports for City Council President Lawrence A. Bell III, the other leading contender in the Democratic primary, were not available. Election law requires that the reports be postmarked by the Sept. 3 deadline. O'Malley and Stokes provided copies of their reports.

Bell led in fund raising for previous reporting periods going back to last year, raising $700,000. Combined, the total raised by the three candidates comes to $1.8 million and is expected to exceed $2 million, once Bell's latest report becomes public.

O'Malley's campaign list includes donors from Baltimore County and out-of-state interests. He also continued to receive strong support from lawyers, who have been a financial mainstay of his campaign.

Among the leading contributors to his campaign in the most recent reporting period was Edward L. Dopkin, owner of the Loco Hombre restaurants, who gave the maximum of $4,000. Earlier in the campaign, Dopkin made an identical donation to Stokes.

Dopkin's action appears to be part of a trend that has contributors giving money to more than one candidate.

The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors political action committee gave $5,000 to O'Malley, making it his single largest contributor. The real estate group also gave $3,000 to Stokes during the latest reporting period and $1,000 to Bell during the previous reporting period. Joseph T. Landers III, executive vice president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, is a Bell campaign strategist.

Also crossing over this reporting period is developer Otis Warren. Warren and his companies earlier had contributed $3,000 to Bell. The latest reports show that one of his companies, Otis Warren of Maryland Inc., contributed $1,000 to O'Malley. Warren's son, Otis Warren III, has supported O'Malley from the beginning, contributing $2,000.

O'Malley also received $3,000 from First Mariner Bank. The Baltimore License Beverage Association Inc. contributed $1,000 to O'Malley this reporting period, bringing its total to $1,500. O'Malley received a second contribution of $500 from National Basketball Association Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin, bringing his total to $1,000. Louis J. Grasmick, a longtime supporter of state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer and husband of state Schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick, contributed $500.

Stokes gained maximum $4,000 contributions from Baltimore Ravens owner Art Modell and his wife Patricia. Maryland Realtors contributed $3,000 to Stokes and Baltimore City sitting judges added $500.

Two of the leading Republican candidates also released reports. Carl Adair raised $3,365 and David F. Tufaro raised $48,200, with $16,600 on hand, during the most recent reporting period.

Sun staff writer Ivan Penn contributed to this article.

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