For the first time in years, Maryland has open races for state comptroller and attorney general in 2022. The positions have attracted candidates who are raising significant amounts of money for their campaigns, according to newly filed finance reports.
Maryland has had a race for attorney general for only a few months, but the leading Democratic candidates are already raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for their campaigns, according to the campaign finance filings that cover the past 12 months of activity. The reports were due by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.
Attorney General Brian Frosh, a Democrat, announced in October that he wouldn’t seek reelection after two four-year terms in office, setting the stage for a competitive race to replace him.
The two Democratic contenders reported nearly identical amounts of cash on hand heading into June’s primary.
Catherine “Katie” Curran O’Malley, a retired Baltimore judge and first-time candidate, has raised $626,000 since starting her campaign in November. She has $616,000 in the bank.
O’Malley’s campaign says her fundraising is an impressive haul in a short period of time, showing there’s excitement about her candidacy.
“The strong support I have received for my campaign from across Maryland shows that people want an attorney general who will both protect Maryland families from crime and predatory behavior and will fight to reform our criminal justice system so every Marylander can get equal justice,” O’Malley said in a statement.
Anthony Brown, a congressman who has been in various elected offices for most of the past 20 years, reported that he raised $647,000 over the past 12 months. He has $615,000 in the bank. Brown also owes himself $220,000 from loans he gave to his campaign committee during prior elections.
If Brown wins the primary and moves on to the general election, he can also tap $1.48 million that he has in a federal campaign committee, according to his campaign.
Brown’s team also pointed to the fundraising numbers as evidence of momentum in his favor.
“I’m honored to have the support of Marylanders across our state and excited to report that the momentum behind our campaign is growing,” Brown said in a statement.
Brown and O’Malley previously were politically connected: Brown was lieutenant governor alongside O’Malley’s husband, Gov. Martin O’Malley, from 2007 through 2015. Brown lost a bid to become governor to the current governor, Republican Larry Hogan.
Jim Shalleck, a Montgomery County lawyer, is the sole Republican running for attorney general. He reported having just $1,200 cash on hand after raising only $1,900. He also reported that he’s still owed $8,500 of a $9,000 loan he made to his campaign committee back in 2014 and owes $3,300 in unpaid bills for fundraising and website development.
Maryland Policy & Politics
The two Democrats contending for the nomination, Del. Brooke Lierman of Baltimore and Bowie Mayor Tim Adams, took very different approaches to building their campaign chests, according to their filings. Both are vying to replace four-term Democrat Peter Franchot, who’s leaving the office to run for governor.
Lierman led the way in donations, collecting $1.7 million in contributions over the past year, the vast majority of it from individual donors. Adams collected only a fraction of that, pulling in $71,000. Lierman, a second-term state delegate, also came into 2021 with more campaign cash in the bank from prior years, $588,000 to his $253,000.
But Adams, a wealthy business owner who founded the professional services firm Systems Applications & Technologies Inc., has repeatedly tapped his fortune to plump up his campaign accounts, lending his political operation a total of $2.07 million over the past year. Adams also owes himself an additional $675,000 in unpaid campaign loans from past years.
Lierman’s campaign reported nearly $1.8 million in the bank after spending $553,000 over the past year. Adams’ campaign, buoyed by his personal loans, reported slightly more cash in the bank — a bit shy of $1.9 million — after spending $541,000.
Harford County Executive Barry Glassman, so far the lone Republican in the race for state comptroller, collected $193,000 over the past year, the vast majority from donations and tickets sold to fundraisers. Glassman’s campaign spent $168,000 but reported $446,000 in cash on hand after carrying over a substantial balance from prior years.
Lierman, a state lawmaker, is banned from further fundraising until the Maryland General Assembly wraps up its session April 12. Adams and Glassman, who hold local political offices, aren’t subject to the same restrictions.
Candidates have until Feb. 22 to file to run in the June 28 primary. The general election is Nov. 8.