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Hogan qualifies for public financing of campaign

Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan said Wednesday that he has cleared the threshold of $258,612 in small contributions needed to qualify for public financing of his campaign.

By clearing that barrier, Hogan would become the first candidate on the Republican side to qualify for public matching funds in the June 24 primary. Del. Heather R. Mizeur of Montgomery County is receiving matching funds in the Democratic race. Under that law, only individual contributions of $250 or less are eligible for matching funds.

Hogan said that by reaching the minimum required by the state's public financing law, his campaign will be guaranteed $2.6 million in public funding for his general election campaign if he wins the primary. Spokesman Adam Dubitsky said the campaign intends to use that system.  The campaign said that would give it more than $4 million for "taking on the political establishment."

Hogan's opponents in the GOP race are Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Del. Ron George of Anne Arundel County and Charles County business executive Charles Lollar. Craig and George have applied for matching funds but have yet to announce they have reached the threshold. Lollar failed to file the paper work with the State Board of Elections in time to qualify.

This is the first election since 1994 in which candidates have sought public financing, which is limited to the governor's race. That year,  Republican nominee Ellen R. Sauerbrey accepted such funding in both the primary and the general election. She lost narrowly in November to Democrat  Parris N. Glendening. When she ran against Glendening in 1998, she did not use public funding and still fell short.

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