It didn’t take long for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wes Moore to restock his campaign account for the fall election against Republican Dan Cox following a competitive primary.
Moore and his lieutenant governor running mate, Aruna Miller, reported having more than $1.3 million in the bank across their campaign accounts, according to campaign filings that were due to the state by midnight Tuesday.
The campaign said they’ve raised more than $1.7 million since they bested a field of 10 candidates in July’s Democratic primary. Moore’s campaign estimated their total fundraising take from 2021 and through 2022, including this newest report, at $10.5 million from more than 25,000 donors.
Moore has significantly more cash on hand than Republican nominee Dan Cox, who combined with his lieutenant governor running mate Gordana Schifanelli to report about $208,000 in their accounts.
Schifanelli reported payments to herself totalling more than $8,300 without an explanation, and Cox says he’s loaned the campaign more than $40,000 in the form of expenses he’s paid for himself.
Candidates in this year’s elections are required to file reports by midnight Tuesday that cover campaign finance activity from July 4 through Aug. 23. That roughly seven-week time frame included both spending in the final days of the primary season — in which many campaigns spent nearly every penny they had — as well as the post-primary push from victorious candidates to refill their campaign coffers.
Donations from supporters and other interested parties help candidates fund campaign activities, from paying staffers and distributing yard signs to mailing flyers and airing digital, radio and TV ads.
Cox’s campaign has consistently raised less money than other leading candidates. Across 2021 and through early July, the Cox-Schifanelli team raised about $690,000.
Cox’s campaign did not respond to questions about his fundraising. The Moore campaign, meanwhile, was quick to tout the fundraising haul.
“It’s clear that Wes has built a coalition that can power him to victory in November, with the investment of supporters who see the opportunity we have to make Maryland a place where we leave no one behind,” Moore campaign manager Ned Miller said in a statement.
Throughout his campaign, Moore has leveraged his national connections to raise money. Media mogul Oprah Winfrey headlined an online fundraiser in June and appeared in a campaign ad for Moore. The Moore team went to Martha’s Vineyard for a fundraiser with filmmaker Spike Lee this summer.
Moore also had the benefit of an independent group working on his behalf, Opportunity Maryland. That group, a political action committee, pledged to spend $500,000 in the primary election on mailers and digital ads to reach Black women statewide and Black voters in the Baltimore metro area.
He’ll get some outside help this fall from the Service Employees International Union, which recently announced plans to spend $500,000 to help elect Moore.
Cox won an endorsement from former President Donald J. Trump, but that doesn’t appear to have translated into significant donations to his campaign. He had just one serious competitor in the Republican primary but had to spend far less than Moore did to win.
Cox bested Kelly Schulz, a former member of Gov. Larry Hogan’s cabinet who had the outgoing governor’s endorsement and support. Schulz and her running mate, Jeff Woolford, spent more than $900,000 during the reporting period, more than half of that on TV and online ads, according to their filings. They have about $12,000 left combined across their three campaign accounts.
The general election season ends in about 70 days on Nov. 8. But many voters will cast their ballots before then through early voting (Oct. 27 through Nov. 3) and mail ballots.
Comptroller, attorney general
Maryland has two other statewide state offices on the ballot this fall: comptroller and attorney general.
Republican comptroller candidate Barry Glassman reported having about $443,000 in the bank, compared to $223,000 for Democratic candidate Brooke Lierman.
Glassman, currently the Harford County executive, was unopposed in his primary and was able to keep his spending down over the summer. One of his notable expenses: sending $500 to Moore’s gubernatorial campaign.
Lierman, currently a state delegate from Baltimore, had to raise more and spend more as she fended off Tim Adams in the primary.
Glassman and Lierman are vying to succeed Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat who unsuccessfully ran for governor this year.
The position of attorney general is also open, with Democratic incumbent Brian Frosh retiring.
Both Democratic nominee Anthony Brown and Republican nominee Michael Peroutka emerged from competitive primary races. Brown, a member of Congress, reported having about $80,000 cash in hand. Peroutka, a former Anne Arundel County Council member and one-time member of the secessionist group the League of the South, has about $36,000, according to his report.
This story may be updated.