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Matthews pulling away in 8th District money race

First-time candidate Kathleen Matthews is pulling away from the rest of the 8th Congressional District field in the race for money, besting state Sen. Jamie Raskin for the second straight quarter, campaign finance reports filed late Sunday show.

(CHART -- showing Q4 fundraising at bottom of this post)

But the decision by wealthy businessman David Trone to enter the race late -- and spend significant sums early on -- may blunt that advantage in the state's open House contest.

Matthews, a former WJLA anchor and Marriott International executive, reported raising $504,000 in the fourth quarter of 2015 and her campaign has $1.1 million in the bank. Raskin, also a frontrunner, raised 74 cents for every Matthews dollar, bringing in $376,000 over the same period.

Raskin's fundraising remains competitive, but Matthews clearly has the advantage. Raskin had just over $869,000 in the bank. 

Former State Departent official Joel Rubin posted a better than expected number, $159,000 raised in the fourth quarter -- besting Del. Kumar Barve, who reported raising $113,000 (though Barve has significantly more on hand).

The significance of relatively small differences in campaign funding, though, has been thrown into question by Trone, owner of the Bethesda-based Total Wine & More. A first-time candidate who has already faced questions about his own political giving, Trone is the only candidate running a sustained television ad campaign -- financed from his own pocket.

Trone, who entered the race Jan. 27, was not required to file a campaign finance report Sunday because he was not raising political cash in the fourth quarter of last year.

The 8th District includes portions of Montgomery, Frederick and Carroll counties and is considered safe for Democrats in the general election. The incumbent, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, is leaving the seat open to run for Congress.

Just over the county line in Maryland's 4th District, former Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn Ivey had the best quarter, bringing in $197,000. He was followed by Del. Dereck E. Davis ($151,000), Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk ($147,000) and former Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown ($103,000).

Brown has repeatedly posted lower fundraising than the other three, though internal polls have shown the former Prince George's County state lawmaker with higher name recognition (in other words, he can get away with spending less). Those same polls have shown a tight race in the 4th, which includes portions of Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties.

The incumbent in the 4th District, Rep. Donna Edwards, is also running for Senate.

4th District
Candidate           RaisedQ4        Cash on hand
Ivey                    $197,269        $526,667
Davis                  $151,077        $304,932
Pena-Melnyk        $146,821        $378,396
Brown                 $102,564        $269,442
Turner                 $11,971          $104,579

8th District
Candidate            RaisedQ4        Cash on hand
Matthews             $503,888         $1,147,929
Raskin                 $376,561         $869,330
Rubin                  $159,258          $71,743
Barve                  $112,576         $288,537
Jawando              $82,182           $215,448
Anderson*           $43,250           $47,027
Sol-Gutierrez       $32,671           $169,482

*Includes $20K loan. 

An earlier version of this item included incorrect cash on hand numbers for Matthews and Raskin.

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