Kathleen Matthews, the former television news anchor who is running for Congress, will report raising more than $500,000 in her bid for Congress, her campaign said Wednesday -- establishing the first-time candidate as a force in one of the state's most compelling political contests.
The former Marriott executive will report raising $501,106 in the second quarter of the year and having more than $482,000 on hand. Matthews, the wife of MSNBC personality Chris Matthews, did not put any of her own money into the race, a campaign aide said.
Only one other candidate in the race to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen is expected to post numbers that high: state Sen. Jamie Raskin's campaign said the Democrat pulled in $553,000 during the same period, and has over $480,000 on hand.
"I am so grateful to my friends and supporters who rallied quickly after my June 3rd announcement to help me bring an opportunity agenda for working families to Congress," Matthews said in a statement, emphasizing that she did not enter the contest until the final month of the second quarter.
In addition to Matthews and Raskin, Del. Kumar Barve is expected to report raising about $225,000 with over $229,000 on hand and former White House aide Will Jawando will report raising $112,000 with $97,000 on hand. Del. Ana Sol-Gutierrez has not previewed her second quarter fundraising and former Montgomery County Council president Valerie Ervin did not enter the race until the start of the third quarter.
Fundraising numbers don't tell the whole story of a campaign's strength and lesser financed campaigns can and do win elections. But absent independent polling, fundraising is one of the only directly comparable metrics observers can review -- and that's particularly at this early stage of the race.
Also, several campaigns have shown a willingness during the current reporting period to goose their numbers in an effort to make their standing look better than it is. The actual reports -- which are harder to fudge and which include detail about who is donating and how the money is being spent -- are due to the Federal Election Commission at midnight.
Matthews, a Chevy Chase resident, spent 15 years as an anchor at WJLA-TV before joining the Bethesda-based Marriott International as chief global communications and public affairs officer. She has left the company in order to focus on her run for Congress.