Frosh takes lead in money race for attorney general

Sen. Brian E. Frosh took a more than 2-to-1 lead in the money race over another Democratic lawmaker known to be considering a race for attorney general in 2014, newly filed campaign finance reports show.

Frosh, of Montgomery County, raised $241,021 last year and now has $390,655 on hand. Del. Jon S. Cardin, of Baltimore County, reported raising $108,839, bringing his total in the bank to $170,224.


"It went very well. I was very encouraged," said Frosh, who has not been known as a prodigious fundraiser despite holding the chairmanship of one of only four standing Senate committees. He said most of his fundraising was compressed into the last two months of 2012.

Cardin said he was pleased to have raised the amount he did.


"I have done a tremendous job of raising significant dollars to establish a campaign," Cardin said. He said that unlike Frosh, he does not have the advantages of being a committee chair and coming from affluent Montgomery.

"I believe in raising the money I need. I don't believe in raising money to intimidate people," Cardin said.

The incumbent attorney general, Douglas M. Gansler, has $5.2 million in the bank for what is expected to be a race for governor.

Cardin said it's likely that other entrants will join the race for the Democratic nomination. But of the roughly 10 Democrats who have been mentioned as possible contenders, none has raised more than $100,000 in the past year except for Frosh and Cardin.

The Baltimore County lawmaker's report revealed one glaring flaw in his campaign last year: For every dollar it spent, it was paying more than 50 cents in fundraising expenses. Cardin's fundraising expenses of $56,522 were more than 10 times what Frosh reported spending for that purpose.

Cardin said his campaign has recently parted ways with Rice Consulting, his Bel Air-based fundraising contractor.

In recent decades, winning the Democratic nomination has been tantamount to capturing the office. The last Republican to serve as attorney general left office in 1954 after having been appointed to replace a Democrat who was appointed to the bench. The last time a Republican was elected to the office was in 1918.