With a little more than two months before the Nov. 3 election, independent Baltimore mayoral candidate Bob Wallace reports having more than $360,000 cash on hand as he seeks to break through to a heavily Democratic electorate.
Wallace’s latest campaign finance report, filed Tuesday to the state, provides a look into the extent to which the wealthy businessman is self-funding his mayoral bid. He and his wife have together lent his campaign $343,000.
He also raised roughly $223,000 from donors.
Wallace is up against Democratic City Council President Brandon Scott, who is favored in this deep-blue city that’s elected only Democrats as mayor for the past 50 years. Also on the ballot is Republican Shannon Wright.
Wallace has said he believes he has a path to victory, and he can use his campaign’s deep pockets to bolster his name recognition. He spent roughly $210,000 over the last three months, including paying $12,000 to Gonzales Research in Arnold to conduct polls. He also spent more than $130,000 on consulting fees, the report showed.
Scott’s campaign filed his finance report late Tuesday, showing him with roughly $153,000 in his bank account. He spent heavily in the final weeks before the June 2 primary, helping him emerge from a competitive pack of candidates.
Wallace is not affiliated with a political party, but previously registered as a Republican. Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele — a past chair of the Republican National Committee who served under then-Gov. Bob Ehrlich — donated $1,000 earlier this month to Wallace’s campaign. Dennis Schrader, who has served numerous roles in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration and is a former GOP member of the Howard County Council, gave $250.
Also among Wallace’s notable donors are higher education leaders that worked with him when he served on the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. Wallace Loh, a former president of the flagship campus in College Park, contributed $1,500. Bob Caret, a former system chancellor, gave $250. Former regents chair Barry Gossett donated $3,000. All four held positions during a difficult time for the higher education system as it faced criticism over how it handled the death of 19-year-old Terrapins football player Jordan McNair.
The bulk of the campaign’s haul is in loans from Wallace and his wife, Carolyn Green. Wallace lent the campaign $293,000. Green lent the campaign $50,000. She also donated $6,000, the maximum allowed under state law.
The documents show different addresses for them — his in Mount Vernon in Baltimore City and hers in Howard County. Online state real estate records show Wallace and Green as trustees in the ownership of a Clarksville house, which is marked as a principal residence, and list the Baltimore address as a commercial property.
Mitchell Schmale of Nevins & Associates, which is handling communications for the campaign, said Wednesday that Wallace lives in an apartment upstairs from his Baltimore business office.
He is registered to vote in the city.
Wallace said in a recent interview that he made the apartment his primary residence last year, in preparation for his run, which he announced May 20. He said then that his family had a home in Howard County.
Wallace’s money already has gotten him on voters’ TV screens, with a commercial that ran last week during coverage of the Democratic National Convention. Wallace said the goal of the ad was to introduce himself to Baltimore voters.
His campaign said the ad buy was six figures; the amount is not listed in his disclosure form. The period covered by this campaign finance report was May 18 through Aug. 18; the commercial started running the next day. Federal Communications Commission records posted so far online by Baltimore’s four TV stations show about $56,000 in spending by the Wallace campaign in August and September.
Scott’s campaign reported raising roughly a quarter of a million dollars in the latest cycle, which included the last dash for the Democratic nomination. Since he won, he has continued to bring in some high-dollar donations.
Northeast Maglev, a company trying to build a high-speed rail line connecting Baltimore to Washington, contributed $6,000 on the last day of the fundraising period. High-profile developers and construction leaders — including Mark Sapperstein, Scott Plank and Pierce Flannigan — all contributed thousands on Aug. 18.