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Politics

Challenger Ivan Bates outraises Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby in first fundraising report of campaign

Ivan Bates, one of two Democrats challenging Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has out-fundraised her in the year leading up to the election by more than $43,000, campaign finance reports show.

Bates, a defense attorney who ran for state’s attorney in 2018, reported raising $361,707 over the last year in a campaign finance report filed Wednesday. Of that, $128,000 was self-financed by a loan Bates made to the campaign.

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Mosby, Baltimore’s state’s attorney since 2015, reported raising $189,794 during the same period, all of it via donations.

Roya Hanna, a defense attorney and former prosecutor, who also has declared her candidacy, raised $39,051. All three are Democrats and will face each other in the June 28 primary.

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Public attention has turned to the race for Baltimore state’s attorney after federal prosecutors filed criminal charges against Mosby last week. The sitting state’s attorney is accused of lying to avoid penalties for prematurely withdrawing thousands of dollars from her city retirement account, then using the funds to purchase two vacation homes in Florida while failing to disclose a federal tax lien against her in mortgage documents.

Prosecutors argue Mosby said she had faced financial hardship from the COVID-19 pandemic to complete the withdrawal, when in fact she had received a raise during that time period.

Mosby, who has pledged to fight the charges and decried the indictment as a political attack, has not formally announced a bid for reelection, however she has been holding fundraisers for her candidacy.

Mosby’s finance report shows she spent nearly $48,000 on legal fees in 2021 — $37,500 to Reed Smith LLP in Washington, D.C. where her criminal defense attorney A. Scott Bolden practices, and $10,200 to Templeton Law Firm, owned by Granville Templeton, in downtown Baltimore.

Mosby’s office and her campaign treasurer did not respond to requests to clarify what the legal expenses were for. And neither Mosby nor her campaign were available Thursday to discuss fundraising.

Her campaign, Friends of Marilyn Mosby, issued a statement Thursday afternoon.

“Following advisement from the State Board of Elections, it was determined that campaign funds could be used for legal services related to campaign finance activity,” the statement said. But the campaign did not explain how the services were related to the campaign.

Jared DeMarinis, director of the candidacy and campaign finance division of the Maryland State Board of Elections, said it is prohibited for any candidate or political committee to use campaign funds for legal expenses related to investigations or court proceedings that “do not have a direct connection with the candidacy.”

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Federal investigators subpoenaed Mosby’s campaign treasurer Sharif Small in March seeking campaign accounting records and tax documents dating back to 2014, but the charges lodged against Mosby thus far are unrelated to her campaign or her work in office

Mosby has $193,953 on hand heading into election season. She received maximum donations of $6,000 from only a handful of donors including Julie Greenwald, chief operating officer of Atlantic Records, a Service Employees International Union political action committee and the campaign account of her husband Baltimore City Council President Nick Mosby.

Mosby received several contributions from out of state; five of those who contributed the maximum amounts allowed listed addresses in New York or New Jersey.

Bates has nearly $226,000 on hand heading into the election year, $40,000 more than he had ahead of his previous bid for the office.

In an interview with The Baltimore Sun, Bates touted raising nearly as much money in the seven weeks following his most recent campaign announcement as he did in a year’s time ahead of his last run. He chalked up that support to what he described a desire for a new direction in the state’s attorney’s office and his attention during his campaign to stemming violence.

“One thing that I get from people, they want change. They really want change,” Bates said. “They want someone to focus on crime. My whole focus is going to be on crime.”

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More than a dozen donors made the maximum $6,000 contribution to Bates’s campaign, including Alex Smith, founder and president of Atlas Restaurant Group, and Smith’s wife, Christina Ghani. Donations also were made by four members of the Paterakis family, each of whom gave $4,000. Frederick Smith, vice president of Sinclair Broadcast Group, contributed $1,000.

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Two of Bates’ maximum contributions came from people who listed addresses in Massachussetts.

Bates touted endorsements from former Mayor Sheila Dixon, a Democrat whose convictions on perjury and embezzlement charges led to her resignation from office in 2010, and Mosby’s predecessor, Democratic State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein. Dixon ran for mayor again in 2020, narrowly losing the primary in deep blue Baltimore to Brandon Scott.

Bernstein contributed $1,000 to Bates campaign. There wasn’t a donation with Dixon’s name in Bates’ latest campaign finance report.

Law firms in Baltimore and beyond were well represented among Bates’ donors. Attorneys from the Venable firm, Greenberg Law Office, the Heyman Law Firm, Kadish & Kadish, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr, Cozen O’Connor and Brown, and Goldstein & Levy all made contributions.

Despite announcing his candidacy in November, Bates has spent little on the race thus far, his report shows. In October, he paid $7,500 for polling for the race. He also repaid $125,000 in loans left over from his 2018 bid for office to Jack Luetkemeyer of Continental Realty Corp.

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Hanna has $38,395 on hand heading into election year. She received maximum donations from two donors: Dora and Nabil Hanna, both of Stevensville.

“I think it’s very early,” Hanna said in an interview with The Sun. “I’m not really a politician. I’ve been getting my name out there. But it’s slow and still very early in the race.”


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