Fundraising totals from 5 key elections for county executive in Md.

Anne Arundel County Executive Steve R. Schuh (with scissors) raised more than $300,000 in the past two months for his reelection. (Courtesy Josh Kurtz)
Maryland’s seven largest counties will elect – or reelect – county executives next week, and five of those races are highly competitive.

At least three of the biggest counties – Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s – will have new executives beginning in December. Prince George’s State’s Attorney Angela D. Alsobrooks (D) is unopposed in the race to replace two-term County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) – and whether she likes it or not, she’ll immediately be seen as a leading contender for governor in 2022, if Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) wins a second term.

But the number of new executives could increase depending on how incumbents fare in Anne Arundel, Frederick and Howard counties. The only incumbent who does not appear to have to sweat Election Day is Harford County Executive Barry Glassman (R), who is the overwhelming favorite to win a second term over Democrat Maryann Connaghan Forgan.

What follows is an analysis of the campaign finance reports in the five most competitive elections for county executive. These reports cover campaign fundraising and expenditures between Aug. 22 and Oct. 21.

The eighth member of the state’s so-called Big Eight, the mayor of Baltimore, is elected in presidential election years.

Anne Arundel County

Incumbent executive Steven R. Schuh (R) spent more than three times his Democratic challenger, horse farmer Steuart Pittman, in the last two months. The figures keep pace with candidates’ fundraising throughout the election cycle.

Steven R. Schuh (R)

Prior balance: $997,003

Receipts: $300,904

Expenditures: $904,139

Cash on hand: $393,768

Steuart Pittman (D)

Prior balance: $322,602

Receipts: $148,817

Expenditures: $302,603

Cash on hand: $168,816

Baltimore County

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Alfred W. Redmer Jr. (R) raised nearly half of all contributions in his campaign in the last two months. Redmer reported receiving $532,838 since late August, compared to $580,656 during the rest of the election cycle. Redmer reported $451,158 in individual contributions, bolstered by fundraising ticket sales and transfers from political action committees and other candidates.

Even so, former state Del. John A. “Johnny O” Olszewski Jr. still out-raised Redmer, bringing in more than $587,000. As of last week, Olszewski had more than $243,000 cash on hand, more than double the amount remaining in Redmer’s coffers.

The two East Baltimore County politicians are competing for the right to replace County Executive Don Mohler (D), who is serving on an interim basis following the sudden death in May of the two-term executive, Kevin B. Kamenetz (D).

Alfred W. Redmer Jr. (R)

Prior balance: $118,748

Receipts: $504,962

Expenditures: $532,838

Cash on hand: $90,872

John A. Olszewski Jr. (D)

Prior balance: $370,761

Contributions: $587,093

Expenditures: $714,623

Cash on hand: $243,232

Frederick County

Incumbent Jan Gardner (D) heads into the final stretch of the campaign having spent 36 percent more than Del. Kathryn Afzali (R) in the last two months and with slightly less cash on hand.

Gardner and Afzali brought in similar new receipts during the reporting period, though Afzali’s campaign is also boosted by the Frederick Republican Victory Slate.

Kathryn Afzali (R)

Prior balance: $107,546

Receipts: $49,972

Expenditures: $101,576

Cash on hand: $55,941

Jan Gardner (D)

Prior balance: $145,833

Receipts: $46,347

Expenditures: $138,249

Cash on hand: $53,931

Howard County

County Executive Allan Kittleman (R) has a nearly $95,000 cash advantage over his challenger, Democratic County Councilman Calvin Ball. After being out-raised for two funding cycles in a row, Kittleman brought in more than twice the amount of Ball’s contributions in the last two months. After starting the year with a huge fundraising advantage, Kittleman temporarily curtailed his money-raising activities this summer following devastating flooding in Ellicott City.

Allan Kittleman (R)

Prior balance: $689,878

Receipts: $250,345

Expenditures: $671,969

Cash on hand: $268,253

Calvin Ball (D)

Prior balance: $390,230

Contributions: $121,238

Expenditures: $337,476

Cash on hand: $173,992

Montgomery County

This improbable three-way general election to replace term-limited Executive Isiah Leggett (D) is heading for a wild and uncertain finish, with the two traditional party nominees, County Councilman Marc B. Elrich (D) and attorney Robin Ficker (R) bolstered by the money they are getting from their participation in the county’s new public financing system. Meanwhile, County Councilwoman Nancy M. Floreen, a Democrat-turned-independent, is being funded largely by the county’s real estate industry.

Elrich has reported collecting more than $1.2 million from public financing so far. Ficker’s take is closing in on $250,000.

Robin Ficker (R) – financial activity from Oct. 2-21

Prior balance: $137,734

Receipts: $10,145

Expenditures: $80,643

Additional matching fund requested: $5,330

Cash on hand: $67,236

Marc B. Elrich (D) – financial activity from Oct. 16-21

Prior balance: $470,632

Receipts: $15,626

Expenditures: $288,646

Additional matching funds requested: $0

Cash on hand: $197,611

Nancy Floreen (I) – financial activity from Aug. 22-Oct. 21

Prior balance: $135,724

Receipts: $486,383

Expenditures $502,212

Cash on hand: $119,944

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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