McCarthy leads ex­ec­u­tive fundrais­ing into stretch

Win­ner-take-all coun­cil races see spend­ing splurge

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— Ce­cil County Coun­cil Vice Pres­i­dent Alan McCarthy con­tin­ues to hold the largest war chest in a four-man field of Repub­li­can can­di­dates seek­ing their party’s nom­i­na­tion for county ex­ec­u­tive, with just days left un­til the April 26 Pri­mary Elec­tion.

The lat­est cam­paign fi­nance re­ports re­leased April

ELK­TON

15, the last round be­fore the pri­mary, show that McCarthy brought in an­other $2,820 for his cam­paign over the past month, leav­ing him with $11,654 ahead of the fi­nal push. Among the no­table donors were Ce­cil­ton Mayor Joe Zang and Carl Roberts, a for­mer Ce­cil County Pub­lic Schools su­per­in­ten­dent and di­rec­tor of the Ce­cil County Cham­ber of Com­merce’s gov­ern- ment re­la­tions com­mit­tee. Vir­tu­ally all of his donors were from Ce­cil County — a com­mon theme in McCarthy’s fundrais­ing ef­forts — with sizes rang­ing up to $500.

McCarthy spent only $508 in the re­port­ing pe­riod, which ran from March 16 to April 10, on yard signs. With a more than 2-1 lead over his clos­est com­peti­tor in fundrais­ing and a bevy of en­dorse­ments, McCarthy may be look­ing ahead to a Gen­eral Elec­tion cam­paign against the lone Demo­cratic can­di­date, Port De­posit Mayor Wayne Tome.

Mean­while, McCarthy’s coun­cil col­league Dan Sch­neck­en­burger sits in sec­ond place in the ex­ec­u­tive fundrais­ing race. He amassed $2,380 dur­ing the pe­riod, leav­ing him with $5,293 for the fi­nal push. Among his no­table donors were Ce­cil Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Robert Hodge, who de­cided to not run for re-elec­tion this year, and Coun­cil Man­ager James Massey. Over­all, his

donors were a mix of in­county and out-of-county sup­port­ers — con­sis­tent with his cam­paign — with sizes also rang­ing up to $500.

Sch­neck­en­burger spent es­sen­tially noth­ing in the pe­riod, pre­serv­ing his funds for a pri­mary bat­tle with McCarthy. He has also sched­uled a late-in-the­cam­paign fundraiser at The Well­wood in Charlestown on Fri­day that will fea­ture for­mer Repub­li­can Gov. Robert Ehrlich.

Sit­ting in third in terms of to­tal funds, con­ser­va­tive ac­tivist Joe Cara­betta raised $1,719 dur­ing the pe­riod, but is left with $1,217 for the fi­nal push. Among his­no­table donors were for­mer Ce­cil County Com­mis­sioner Jim Mullin and Chris Zeauskas, for­mer chair­man of the Ce­cil County Repub­li­can Cen­tral Com­mit­tee and a can­di­date in the Elk­ton mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion. Over­all, his donors were a mix of in-county and out-of­county sup­port­ers, many of whom bought into a raf­fle. His largest do­na­tions were again $100 due to a self-im­posed cam­paign limit.

Un­like his op­po­nents, Cara­betta did spend heav­ily in the pe­riod, to­tal­ing just short of $2,000. Those ex­pen­di­tures were pri­mar­ily on brochures and yard signs, although he also had to spend $768 on his raf­fle item.

Fi­nally, new­comer Greg MacDon­ald was limp­ing into the fi­nal stretches of the cam­paign af­ter start­ing out strong in fundrais­ing. He raised $655 in the last pe­riod, but was left with only $129 af­ter ex­pen­di­tures for the stretch run to the pri­mary. His big­gest donors were fam­ily mem­bers and his cam­paign trea­surer, which to­taled $400 of his haul.

MacDon­ald con­tin­ued to spend nearly every­thing he had to print brochures, yard signs and place­mats pro­mot­ing his can­di­dacy. His to­tal ex­pen­di­tures of $1,081 in the pe­riod also in­cluded fundrais­ing costs.

In the races for two open Ce­cil County Coun­cil seats, can­di­dates in the all-Repub­li­can af­fair spent heav­ily as the Gen­eral Elec­tion will be es­sen­tially mean­ing­less. With­out Demo­cratic or third-party op­po­nents, the win­ners of the Repub­li­can pri­maries will be the de facto win­ners of the coun­cil races.

In District 1, Robert Mef­fley, owner of H&B Plumb­ing, spent every­thing he had in the pe­riod, while his op­po­nent, Tom Cole, a re­tired Del­marva Power em­ployee, do­nated $2,487 to his own cam­paign and spent most of it.

Mef­fley brought in $1,750 in the pe­riod, chiefly from sin­gle large do­na­tions from in-county sup­port­ers with sums up to $350. Among his donors in the pe­riod was Elk­ton Mayor Rob Alt. He spent $4,488 on yard signs and bill­boards ahead of the pri­mary push. Mef­fley also con­tin­ues to carry $7,000 in loan re­ceipts for his cam­paign.

Cole, who had not re­ported a con­tri­bu­tion in his cam­paign prior to this lat­est pe­riod, is es­sen­tially self-fi­nanc­ing his low-key cam­paign. He has not been vis­i­ble at pub­lic de­bates and fo­rums, but in­vested heav­ily in yard signs and give­aways in the pe­riod, spend­ing $1,987.

Mean­while in District 5, Jackie Gre­gory, a lead­ing voice in the con­ser­va­tive Ce­cil County Pa­tri­ots group, also spent just about every­thing she had in the pe­riod, while her op­po­nent Paul Tra­pani, a ma­rina owner, con­tin­ued to de­clare that he had not raised more than $1,000.

Gre­gory raised $2,071 in the pe­riod, pri­mar­ily from a March 19 silent auc­tion. Among her donors were Mayor Alt, Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Hodge and Ce­cil County Reg­is­ter of Wills Michael W. Daw­son. Gre­gory also has the unique dis­tinc­tion to have re­ceived do­na­tions from a va­ri­ety of other can­di­dates, as McCarthy, Sch­neck­en­burger, Mef­fley and Ron Lo­bos, a can­di­date for school board, have all do­nated to her cam­paign. She also loaned her cam­paign $1,000 late in the pe­riod.

In to­tal, Gre­gory spent $4,701 in the re­port­ing pe­riod, leav­ing her with just $47 re­main­ing, on yard signs, di­rect­ing mail­ings, Face­book ad­ver­tise­ments and fundraiser costs.

In the District 5 Board of Ed­u­ca­tion race, where one of three can­di­dates will be squeezed out in the non­par­ti­san pri­mary, one can­di­date es­tab­lished a fundrais­ing lead in the lat­est pe­riod.

Jim Fazz­ino, a Bal­ti­more County Pub­lic Schools teacher, raised $400 from in-county sup­port­ers, and also loaned his own cam- paign $1,459. He then spent $1,847 on yard signs, brochures, give­aways, news­pa­per ad­ver­tise­ments and web­site de­vel­op­ment.

His op­po­nents, Lo­bos, a real es­tate ap­praiser, and Erin Do­or­dan, a non­profit pro­fes­sional, have filed no­tice that they did not raise or spend more than $1,000 in the race for the un­paid po­si­tion so far.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

Repub­li­can Ce­cil County Ex­ec­u­tive can­di­dates Greg MacDon­ald (top left, clock­wise), Joe Cara­betta, Alan McCarthy and Dan Sch­neck­en­burger con­tinue to raise funds as the pri­mary nears.

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