McCarthy leads executive fundraising into stretch
Winner-take-all council races see spending splurge
— 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
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.
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.