Delegate McDonough accepts free campaign office space from Baltimore developer

Del. Pat McDonough plans to amend his campaign finance reports to reflect that he receives free office space from a major Baltimore-based developer.

McDonough said he receives free office space in the Carroll Island Shopping Center, which he uses as both a district office and a campaign office. McDonough, a Republican representing Baltimore and Harford counties, is running for Baltimore County executive this year.

“We do not use one penny of state taxpayers’ money. That office is a gift. It is for free,” McDonough said in an interview.

The conservative media outlet Red Maryland questioned who was paying for the office, noting that McDonough did not list rent payments or donations for the space on his campaign finance reports.

McDonough said Tuesday that he would amend his most recent report to reflect that he received donated office space. He plans to list the value of the space as zero dollars.

The space lacks heat and air conditioning, McDonough said, “so it has zero value.”

McDonough said the shopping center managers are not actively marketing the space because it can’t be rented due to the lack of heat and air.

“We use it when we can use it,” McDonough said. “If it’s a real cold day, we can’t use it.”

Carroll Island Shopping Center is owned by the Baltimore-based Cordish Companies. Cordish officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday afternoon.

Cordish Companies develops and owns commercial properties in Maryland and several states, including the Live Casino at Arundel Mills in Hanover and Power Plant Live in downtown Baltimore.

McDonough said he hasn’t spoken directly about the office with Cordish Companies CEO David Cordish. He said he deals with an employee who handles leasing at the shopping center and offered him use of the space.

McDonough said he’s been using the space since last April. He uses the front as a “district and community office,” meeting constituents there and allowing community groups to hold meetings.

The rear of the space is used by his campaign, McDonough said.

The dividing line between the district office and the campaign office is a large sign with photos of former Gov. William Donald Schaefer and President Ronald Reagan, he said.

McDonough said that while state lawmakers have the option of using part of their allotted budgets for offices in their districts, he does not use state money for the Middle River office.

McDonough is running against Al Redmer, the state’s insurance commissioner, in the Republican primary for county executive.

Three Democrats are also in the race: County Councilwoman Vicki Almond, state Sen. Jim Brochin and former state Del. Johnny Olszewski Jr.

The current county executive, Kevin Kamenetz, is barred from running again due to term limits and is now running in the Democratic primary for governor.

pwood@baltsun.com

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