Bulk of Donna Edwards' campaign money from out of state

Barbra Streisand, family of Alan Gross among top-name donors in Md. Senate race.

Nearly 80 percent of the money Rep. Donna F. Edwards raised for her Senate campaign last month came from out of state donors, according to a Baltimore Sun analysis of recently filed campaign finance reports.

Of the $260,000 in donations over $200 from individuals included on the Prince George's County Democrat's campaign disclosure, $58,000 came from Maryland donors -- a percentage that underscores the campaign's reliance, so far, on national progressive groups for fundraising.

The largest share of Edwards' money -- about 26 percent -- came from California.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the Montgomery County Democrat who is also pursuing the seat that will be left open by retiring Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski in 2017, raised 74 percent of his cash from Maryland -- much of it from Montgomery County, according to the analysis.

Both campaigns filed reports last week, though due to the vagaries of how Senate candidates disclose campaign cash, Van Hollen's has not yet posted on the Federal Election Commission's website.

Because Edwards and Van Hollen entered the race in March, the reports represent only a few weeks of fundraising. The second quarter report, filed in May, will likely be a more telling indicator of how each campaign is doing in the race for cash. 

Edwards has never been considered a particularly strong fundraiser, in part because she has't had to be. However, she has attracted attention from progressive groups like Democracy for America, Emily's List and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which have extensive national donor bases.

The analysis does not include aggregate donations under $200, which are not required to be itemized -- and so there's no way to discern where they came from. Van Hollen had just over $44,000 in unitemized donations (about 4 percent of all donations) and Edwards had about $55,700 (17 percent).

Though the campaigns had previously disclosed top-line numbers, the full reports provide far more detail about who is giving and how the political operations are spending their money. Edwards has received attention for one top-name donor,  Barbra Streisand, who gave $2,600. Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree also donated to the Edwards campaign.

Perhaps the most interesting name on Van Hollen's donor list was Judy Gross, wife of Alan Gross -- the former Marylander who was imprisoned in Cuba for five years. Van Hollen was heavily engaged in Gross' release from Cuba in December as part of a broader deal to restore diplomatic relations with Havana. Judy Gross gave $2,000 in early March.

Van Hollen also received donations from leadership PACs controlled by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid ($5,000), who endorsed Van Hollen soon after he announced his candidacy, and Connecticut Rep. John Larson ($2,500).

"With now over 4,500 contributors, Donna is building a campaign that reflects the hard work of Maryland families," Edwards spokesman Benjamin Gerdes said in a statement that was broadly similar to the one the campaign issued when it released its top-line figures. 

The Van Hollen campaign referred to the statement it released earlier this month.

"I'm grateful for the strong support our campaign has received from people all across our great state," Van Hollen said at the time in a statement.

Edwards reported raising $335,228 in the first quarter and had $325,000 in the bank. Van Hollen reported raising $1.2 million with $1.1 million on hand, and an additional $1.6 million available in his House account -- money that can be used for his Senate race.

 

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