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Is money the only difference between winning and losing?

Steve Schuh is the Tea Party Republican running for Anne Arundel County executive against Democrat George Johnson. I'm guessing green is Mr. Schuh's favorite color ("Schuh leads Johnson in Anne Arundel poll," Oct. 24).

According to Mr. Schuh's most recent campaign finance report, he has $381,483, having raised a whopping $633,974 in just the past two months. His opponent's campaign finance report shows a balance of only $75,969.

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If I were 12, I would have put a sad face at the end of that sentence. George Johnson raised $110,235. That may be a lot of money for you and me, but it's chump change in a county where there may be 210,000 likely voters.

In his first 2014 campaign finance report, Mr. Schuh showed a prior balance of $900,747. On his report, George Johnson had a prior balance of $0. Since then, Mr. Schuh has raised a ton of money while Mr. Johnson has not. Financially speaking, Mr. Schuh has been running virtually unopposed.

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Does having all that money mean that Mr. Schuh is the better candidate? No. What it means is that he can afford to sell himself more effectively than his opponent.

Campaign contributions flow to the presumptive winner. If you want the next county executive to pick up the phone when you call, is there really any doubt whose name goes on that check? Even if the Johnson organization knew how to change the psychology of the campaign, they've never had the money to do it.

So is Mr. Schuh a "Schuh-in?" If money is all that counts, you bet he is. But then there's the voters. Voters are the wild card in this race. It is, after all, their election, not the candidates', and it's their chance to elect whichever candidate they want, no matter how much money he's been able to raise.

Les Cohen

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