The Maryland State Board of Elections says two high-profile campaigns have resolved issues concerning personal loans they made to boost their fundraising efforts.
In the most recent campaign finance filing last month, Baltimore State’s Attorney candidate Thiru Vignarajah and Maryland gubernatorial candidate Krish Vignarajah, both Democrats, reported substantial personal loans that had not been deposited into their campaign accounts.
Thiru Vignarajah reported that he had given himself a $250,000 loan, while Krish Vignarajah reported she had made a $100,000 loan to her campaign.
Opponents alleged that the Vignarajahs — who are siblings — were boosting the apparent strength of their campaigns with the reports, but never planned to actually contribute the money.
After the criticism, Jared DeMarinis, director of the state’s candidacy and campaign finance division, said he received documentation from both campaigns that they had resolved the issue.
“I have received word from both campaigns that they have deposited the personal loans into their banks,” DeMarinis said.
Generally speaking, DeMarinis said candidates are prohibited from counting assets that have not been deposited.
“All monies the campaign collects have to be deposited in a campaign account,” he said. “It becomes the campaign’s assets. You can’t make pledges or proffer cash. Campaign reports have to accurately reflect the financial health of the campaign.”
Counting the loans, Thiru Vignarajah, a former deputy attorney general in Maryland, had the most cash on hand in the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s race with $ 499,923 as he seeks to unseat incumbent Marilyn J. Mosby. Krish Vignarajah, a former policy adviser to First Lady Michelle Obama, and her running mate Sharon Blake had $521,154, the fourth most campaign cash among Democrats in a crowded primary field vying to take on Republican Gov. Larry Hogan.