Giving Maryland Democrats a signal that he will mount a credible statewide challenge to Comptroller William Donald Schaefer, Del. Peter Franchot said yesterday that he will report having more than $900,000 in cash on hand when campaign finance reports are due next week.
The amount would be a respectable sum for a candidate with low name recognition in a race low on the ballot.
Franchot, a 20-year Montgomery County lawmaker who is well known in political circles, also announced that he has secured the endorsements of two of the most influential Democratic leaders in vote-rich Prince George's County, County Executive Jack B. Johnson and U.S. Rep. Albert R. Wynn.
Laslo Boyd, a spokesman for the Schaefer campaign, dismissed the importance of Franchot's fundraising.
"I don't think it's significant, no. Elections are about votes, not money," Boyd said.
A spokesman for Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens, the third candidate in the race, expressed doubt that Franchot had raised that much from individual contributors. Candidates can also lend themselves money.
"Cash on hand doesn't say you've raised any money," said Bob DiPietro.