The donations range from a few cents to over $35,000. They came from healthcare workers and attorneys, teachers and clergy members. Current and former elected officials donated. So did retirees, homemakers, engineers, construction workers.
A little more than a week out from Election Day, Anne Arundel residents have poured $3.5 million into the presidential race, almost splitting contributions between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, an analysis of Federal Election Commission campaign contribution records by The Capital shows.
Trump’s top donor in Anne Arundel County was Michael Wallace, an Annapolis energy consultant, who gave $173,100to the Republican. He and Victoria Wallace, who is retired, gave a combined $251,200 since the beginning of 2019.
The county’s biggest Biden donor is Jeffrey Eckel, president and CEO of Hannon Armstrong, an Annapolis-based green energy investment firm. Eckel has donated $30,600 to Biden since December. Susan Nickey, Hannon Armstrong’s managing director, has given $10,600 to Biden. In all, employees at Hannon Armstrong have given over $43,500 to the Democrat.
Through Aug. 31, the most recent data available, Biden’s campaign received about $1.8 million from county residents, while Trump pulled in $1.7 million, federal records show. Biden’s advantage tracks with the candidates' fundraising efforts nationwide, outraising Trump by more than $134 million in September.
The candidates received a combined 63,957 individual contributions from the county since January 2019 — 24,677 for Trump and 39,280 for Biden, according to the analysis.
Trump donors are concentrated in Pasadena and Annapolis, records show, while Biden donors appear around Annapolis and Odenton.
Some donors gave once. Others contributed regularly through monthly payment plans offered by each campaign. Some gave directly to candidates, and others did so through for-profit fundraising platforms called ActBlue and WinRed. Those organizations earmark donations for specific candidates or committees from each party.
Biden’s average donation from county residents was $46; Trump’s was a little over $70. While Biden had nearly 12,000 more individual contributions of $25 or less than Trump, the candidates had roughly the same proportion of total dollar amounts from small donations, about 26% and 24%, respectively.
As for more significant donations, one in three of Trump’s contributions were for $1,000 or more. About one in five Biden contributions were for five figures or more.
For Trump, donors either gave to his campaign committee, Donald J. Trump For President, the Trump Victory Fund or the Trump Make American Great Again Committee. The latter two are joint fundraising committees that split proceeds between the campaign and the Republican National Committee. The Trump Victory Fund also includes 23 state Republican parties.
Biden has a similar fundraising machine. His campaign committee is Biden For President. Biden Victory Fund is a joint fundraising committee between the campaign, Democratic National Committee and 47 state Democratic parties. Biden Action Fund is a similar joint fundraising venture.
Campaign contributions are public record and are accessed at www.fec.gov. The Capital analyzed donations by all local public officials to the presidential candidates through the end of August.
Among Biden’s other large donors was William Castleberry, Facebook vice president of state and local public policy, who lives in Severna Park and gave $5,600.
Another is Gerard Evans, the top-earning lobbyist in Annapolis, who donated about $6,750 since 2019.
Despite working on presidential campaigns in the 1970s, Evans said he hasn’t given to any other candidate as he has with Biden because he has “never encountered a candidate quite like him.”
“He’s a good family man," Evans said. "He’s been through unspeakable tragedy and bounced back, and I’ve had a little of that in my own life,” said Evans.
Among Trump’s top donors is Severna Park resident Gail Seay, who has donated roughly $30,000. Seay is the chief marketing officer of Friends Indeed, a Maryland business supporting caregivers. Trump also received donations from William Gilreath, a Glen Burnie resident and technician at Northrop, who donated more than $18,000 over 19 payments in the past two years, and $15,600 from Davidsonville resident David Campbell.
Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich and his wife Kendel donated $8,000 to the president’s reelection efforts. Kendel Ehrlich was appointed by the president to lead U.S. Department of Justice efforts to monitor, apprehend and track sex offenders.
Chair of the Republican Central Committee James Appel has donated $143 to Trump committees through WinRed.
Several state and local legislators also donated to political machines in the same time period.
State Sen. Pamela Beidle, D-Linthicum, donated $645 to Biden for President this year, and Del. Dana Jones, D-Annapolis, donated $225.
Jones said she’s given to political campaigns in the past, but she would have started in the 2020 presidential election if she had not donated before.
“I would be giving this year because my father is a veteran. He served in Vietnam. He is not a ‘sucker,’ and he is not a ‘loser,'" Jones said, a reference to news reports on Trump’s private comments about military members in 2018.
Del. Sandy Bartlett, D-Laurel,donated $20 to the Maryland Democratic Party through ActBlue and $10 to Kamala Harris’s presidential campaign in July. Harris is now Biden’s running mate.
Dirk Haire, Chair of Maryland’s Republican Party and husband of Anne Arundel County Councilwoman Jessica Haire, R-Edgewater, has donated $10,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, $5,600 to the re-election of U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney, R-West Virginia, and $2,000 to Amanda Adkins, who is running for Congress as a Republican in Kansas.
Haire said he typically likes to direct his donations to Maryland candidates but supported Mooney, a former chairman of the Maryland party and old friend, and Adkins, one of his clients' daughter.
Though he did not donate directly to a committee focused on reelecting the president, he said he voted for all Republican candidates when he sent his mail-in ballot.
Sen. Bryan Simonaire, R-Pasadena, donated $250 to Johnny Ray Salling, a candidate for Congress in Maryland’s 2nd District.
House Minority Leader Nic Kipke, a Pasadena Republican, gave $25 to Arizona Republican Sen. Martha McSally’s reelection campaign and $25 to South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham’s reelection campaign, both funneled through WinRed.
Anne Arundel Councilwoman Lisa Brannigan Rodvien, D-Annapolis, donated $267 to Biden. She’s among several politicians who doled out smaller donations to Democratic candidates in races in Maryland and other states who are either challenging entrenched Republican incumbents or facing tough re-election odds.
She gave $20 to Mia Mason, the Democratic candidate in Maryland’s 1st District, hoping to unseat U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, R-Baltimore County. Elsewhere, she gave $25 each to Candace Valenzuela, a Texas U.S. House of Representatives candidate, and four U.S. Senate candidates: Theresa Greenfield in Iowa, Doug Jones in Alabama, Mark Kelly in Arizona and Jaime Harrison in South Carolina. Beidle also gave Jones $100.
Councilwoman Sarah Lacey, D-Jessup, donated $500 to Biden For President in August, and Andrew Pruski, D-Gambrills, gave the vice president $25. Pruski is co-chairman of Anne Arundel for Biden.
Lacey said she donated another $250 to Biden recently, though it has not yet shown up on reports.
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Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman donated $50 to the Maryland Democratic Party in April. Pittman’s senior adviser Chris Trumbauer said he believes Pittman will seek re-election, though he has not formally announced a decision. He has received about $1 million in campaign contributions since 2019.
Former County Councilman John Grasso, R-Glen Burnie, donated $229 to Trump.
At the city level, three Democratic Annapolis City Council members have donated to Biden. Rob Savidge, D-Ward 7, and Brooks Schandelmeier, D-Ward 5, have each donated $50 to his campaign; Elly Tierney, Ward 1, has given $25.