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Politics

Lierman out-raises Adams in comptroller race, has $1.5 million on hand heading into final stretch

In the first open comptroller race in Maryland in 16 years, Baltimore state Del. Brooke Lierman has out-raised Bowie Mayor Tim Adams by wide margins and holds a considerable cash advantage heading into the final month of the Democratic primary.

Lierman had more than $1.5 million in the bank as of June 7 after raising $400,000 in recent months and a significant $1.7 million fundraising effort last year.

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Adams, the CEO of a technical support company who became mayor in 2019, had about $966,000 on hand after lending nearly $2.3 million of his own money to his campaign in 2021 and early this year, his reports show. He raised just $9,600 from donors since January, according to his latest filing.

“Brooke is in an incredibly strong position heading into the final 35 days of the primary campaign,” Lierman’s campaign treasurer, Candace Dodson-Reed, said in a statement.

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A disability and civil rights attorney, Lierman had an edge over Adams, 28% to 19%, among likely Democratic primary voters in a statewide poll from Baltimore Sun Media and the University of Baltimore earlier this month. The majority of voters were undecided.

They are vying to succeed longtime Comptroller Peter Franchot, who is running for governor instead of seeking a fifth four-year term. The statewide elected position oversees Maryland income tax collection and has a seat on the powerful three-person Maryland Board of Public Works, which approves major state contracts.

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Republican Harford County Executive Barry Glassman is running unopposed in the GOP primary.

Lierman, if elected, would become the first woman to win a popularly and independently elected state-level office in Maryland. Adams, would be the first Black comptroller and the first Black person chosen by voters for an independently elected statewide office.

Lierman’s campaign celebrated her fundraising haul Tuesday despite only having a 56-day fundraising window over the five-month period since the last reports were due. As a state delegate, she was legally barred from fundraising during the General Assembly’s 90-day session that ended April 12.

Her campaign raised $331,000 from donors directly in that period, and 78% of that was from contributions under $250, her campaign said. Other funds came from federal and state political committees.

She spent about $662,000, primarily on television advertising, and reported no outstanding loans.

Adams’ campaign, meanwhile, reported about $2.75 million in outstanding obligations to himself for loans he gave his campaign going back to 2017. He collected donations from 50 individuals and spent $910,000, primarily on radio ads, according to his filing for the past five months.

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Voting by mail has already begun for many voters, as the Maryland State Board of Elections said Monday that it had mailed out some 400,000 ballots already. Voters can request mail-in ballots until July 12. One week of early voting in person begins July 7 and the official primary day is July 19.


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