McCarthy holds huge fundraising lead in exec. race
Elks top Panthers in boys’ lax Meffley, Gregory funds top council foes
— Updated state campaign finance reports show that County Council Vice President Alan McCarthy holds a commanding lead in fundraising compared to his three opponents in the Republican race for county executive nominee.
The latest reports, published on March 22 for the
time period between Jan. 14 and March 15, show McCarthy with a total war chest of $9,343. He was able to raise $8,150 during the latest reporting period, nearly all coming from a Feb. 25 fundraiser at The Wellwood in Charlestown that brought in checks from a variety of county leaders.
Amongst those contributing to McCarthy’s campaign were Cecil College President Mary Way Bolt, fellow County Councilwoman Joyce Bowlsbey, Cecil County Chamber of Commerce chairman Bob Palsgrove, Elkton Town Commissioner Earl Piner, former Cecil County Public Schools Superintendent Carl Roberts, Cecil County State’s Attorney Ellis Rollins III and Assistant State’s Attorney Kevin Urick. Also among the most notable contributors was Harf- ord County Executive Barry Glassman, who contributed $100 to McCarthy’s bid and publicly supported the councilman at his fundraiser.
While McCarthy raised the most money of any executive candidate in the first reporting period, he spent comparatively little. Between the fundraiser’s costs and printing brochures, McCarthy spent $1,789.
Meanwhile, fellow County Councilman Dan Schneckenburger had $2,490 in his account as of the report.
He was able to raise $1,750 during the reporting period, mainly from smaller checks, many of which came from out-of-county donors.
Schneckenburger only spent $400 on brochures and giveaway items in the latest reporting period, after spending $1,800 on campaign signs and advertising in the Whig, and $500 on robocall surveys earlier in the campaign.
He has focused on building campaign staff and will look to use an April 22 fundraiser that features former Republican Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. as a boost heading into the April 26 primary.
The past several weeks have also seen newcomer Gregory MacDonald spend heavily as he tries to get his name into the public consciousness. In total, the former recycling executive spent $4,420, primarily on billboards along Route 40, yard signs and giveaway items, along with fundraising costs.
MacDonald was able to raise $1,870 from some outof-state donors as well as a Feb. 6 beef and beer fundraiser at the North East Veterans of Foreign Wars post.
At the end of the reporting period, leaving about six weeks of unreported fundraising before the primary election, MacDonald held only $556 in his war chest.
Finally, longtime conservative activist Joe Carabetta stood in third place as of the reporting deadline with $1,748 in cash in hand for his campaign, all of which he raised from donors and ticket sales at a March 11 fundraiser during the period. His largest single contribution has been $100 checks, the smallest of the four candidates, and many of his donor contributions came from out-of-county sources.
Several notable names stand out from Carabetta’s fundraiser, including former Delegate Michael Smigiel, who is running against U.S. Rep. Andy Harris (R-1st District) in the Republican primary; Kevin Emmerich, who is running for Cecil County Board of Education; and former Cecil County Republican Central Committee chairman Chris Zeauskas, who is seeking an Elkton commissioner seat in the May municipal election.
Carabetta spent nothing in the reporting period, potentially waiting to maximize his funds’ impact closer to the primary election.
On the Democratic side of the executive ticket, Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome, the lone candidate, filed notice that he had not raised more than $1,000 during the reporting period. Without a primary opponent, his fundraising campaign will likely get underway after a Republican nominee is selected.
In the races for two open Cecil County Council seats, it is a tale of opposites in the all-Republican affair.
In District 1, Robert Meffley, owner of H&B Plumbing, held $3,522 in his account as of the reporting deadline, while his opponent, Tom Cole, a retired Delmarva Power employee, filed notice that he has not raised more than $1,000.
Meffley used a Feb. 29 fundraiser to help rake in $4,895 in contributions over the period, almost all com- ing from in-county donors. Among those donating to his campaign were McCarthy, Schneckenburger and Tome along with many Elkton and Chesapeake Cityarea business leaders.
Meffley may also be the most visible council candidate after spending $8,072 on a Route 213 billboard, yard signs and brochures. He has loaned his campaign $7,000 since February in order to help pay for those expenses.
Meanwhile in District 5, Jackie Gregory, a leading voice in the conservative Cecil County Patriots group, held $1,677 in her account as of the reporting deadline, while her opponent Paul Trapani, a marina owner, also declared that he had not raised more than $1,000.
Gregory used a Jan. 30 fundraiser at Chef’s Kitchen in North East and a March 19 fundraiser at the Chesapeake City Fire Company to raise $3,229. Among those who have attended her fundraisers or contributed donations are McCarthy, Meffley, Emmerich, Urick, Board of Education candidate Ron Lobos and Delegate Kevin Hornberger (R-Cecil).
Gregory also spent $2,092 in the reporting period, however, primarily on yard signs, giveaways, brochures and fundraising costs.
In the District 2 Cecil County Board of Education race, one of two school board races, but the only race where a candidate will be eliminated in the primary, two candidates — Lobos and Jim Fazzino — declared that they had raised less than $1,000 as of the deadline. Erin Doordan reported a lone contribution on her report: $25 that she donated to her own campaign.