Unions representing firefighters, city operations staff and service workers have donated $135,000 to a super PAC supporting Mayor Brandon Scott’s reelection, state records published Tuesday show.

The contributions and a $50,000 ad buy are the latest cash infusion in a competitive mayoral primary notable for large super PAC donations.

AFSCME, a public employees union, was the first labor group to contribute money to the Baltimore Forward PAC. The group sent $50,000 on April 10. Within a week, national leaders at The International Association of Fire Fighters contributed $50,000, while local IAFF leaders cut a check for $15,000. On April 19, a local chapter of Service Employees International Union donated $20,000.

In a transaction dated Monday, Baltimore Forward, Scott’s PAC, sent $50,000 to Impact Politics, a California-based digital political advertising firm.

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Maryland super PACs must file a report to state campaign finance officials within 48 hours of spending $10,000 or more. Standard campaign finance accounts are operated by a candidate’s team and limited to $6,000 contributions, while super PACs may accept unlimited contributions and must operate independently of campaigns or political parties.

Scott faces former Mayor Sheila Dixon in the Democratic primary.

It’s a competitive race: A recent survey from Goucher College Poll and The Baltimore Banner found that 40% of likely Democratic voters surveyed said they would reelect Scott for a second term, while 32% said they’d vote for Dixon. She narrowly lost to Scott in the 2020 primary.

A super PAC supporting Dixon and primarily powered by influential businessmen and media leaders is among Scott’s top criticisms of the former mayor.

The Baltimore County developer John “Jack” Luetkemeyer Jr. gave $300,000 to the Better Baltimore PAC, while Sinclair Inc. executive and new Baltimore Sun owner David Smith gave $200,000. The pro-Dixon super PAC has funded ads that declare Scott a “nice guy, bad mayor.”

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The $50,000 contribution from the national firefighters union is a significant one; in 2022 the Washington-based IAFF contributed several thousands of dollars to Gov. Wes Moore and Lt. Gov. Aruna Miller. The donation aligns with enthusiastic support for Scott among the city’s IAFF chapters.

The election is May 14.

Emily Sullivan covers Baltimore City Hall. She joined the Banner after three years at WYPR, where she won multiple awards for her radio stories on city politics and culture. She previously reported for NPR’s national airwaves, focusing on business news and breaking news.

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