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As Baltimore mayor’s race nears finish, how will coronavirus affect campaign finance totals?

The coronavirus pandemic has altered just about every aspect of the Baltimore mayoral election.

Voting is being done mostly by mail. The all-important Democratic primary date was pushed from April 28 to June 2. And traditional ways of reaching voters — like knocking on doors and attending forums — are off the table.

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That’s made the ability to get on voters’ TV and computer screens even more important. To do that, candidates need money.

Former U.S. Treasury official Mary Miller contributed more than $1.5 million to her own campaign, while other candidates have relied on donors.

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The final campaign finance reports of this election cycle are due Friday. An analysis of the previous round of disclosures shows that contributions to the six leading candidates for mayor declined as the coronavirus outbreak escalated.

The pandemic has triggered severe economic uncertainty and a spike in unemployment.

In the 36 days after March 16 — when restaurants, bars and theaters were closed in response to the pandemic — the six leading candidates raised less than half as much as they did in the 36 days prior.

Feb. 10 to March 16: $845,439.52

March 17 to April 21: $395,472.34

Baltimore Sun editor Steve Earley contributed to this article.

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