Hewitt rakes in most campaign funding so far
Ridgell leads with most direct cash among commissioner candidates
As November inches closer, spending in the St. Mary’s County Board of Commissioners race is ramping up in the general election, with incumbent Commissioner Mike Hewitt (R) collecting the most donors and pocketing the most donations out of all the commissioner candidates.
Hewitt, who previously filed an affidavit signaling that he did not intend to raise or spend more than $1,000 during the primary, raked in $4,185 in direct contributions and $21,200 in fundraiser ticket purchases from May 16 to Aug. 21. His opponent, Rose Frederick (D), received $3,518 in contributions from June 11 to Aug. 21.
Hewitt said he was
“very overwhelmed” by the “generous” donations he’s received from residents and entities, and was encouraged by the reception he had during his fundraiser.
Frederick held off on holding fundraisers during the summer, since families typically go away on vacation and want to spend time with each other.
“I don’t want to burden them with fundraisers,” she said in an interview. Frederick said she plans on holding more events come September, when kids are back in school.
Hewitt outspent Frederick, totaling $9,840 in expenditures, compared to Frederick’s spending of $6,857. Frederick had a prior balance of $4,887, and is left with a cash balance of $1,549.
Hewitt spent most of his monies on media items and campaign materials, including signage, brochures and billboards, totaling $5,663, and $1,332 on fundraising fees. Hewitt received the most contributions and totaled the most expenditures out of all commissioner candidates who had filed by deadline.
Frederick spent $4,568 on media and campaign materials, and $1,820 on postage.
Hewitt, a retired businessman, received donations from a number of entities, including $2,500 from Quality Built Homes in Prince Frederick, $2,500 from Curtis Investment Group in Camp Springs, and $500 from numerous groups, including Lisa Benefield of Hollywood on behalf of King’s Christian Academy; the Maryland Building Industry Association; Windward Land Development; Mervell Dean, LLC in Hollywood; C&C Plumbing and Septic in Hollywood; Last Dollar Properties; and A&C Concrete in Mechanicsville. Hewitt also received $500 from Charles Cuffley of Hollywood, $500 from Joseph Vallandingham of Clements, $500 from Dale Taylor of Hollywood and $500 from James Winters, owner of Winters Sheet Metal, Inc.
Hewitt said he appreciates the donations.
“These people are investing in me,” he said. “It’s about people having faith in you. When they have faith in you, they want to contribute.”
Hewitt also received donations from Parlett Affiliated Companies in the amount of $250, and from Del. Deb Rey (R-St. Mary’s), commissioners John O’Connor (R), Todd Morgan (R), and Commissioner President Randy Guy (R), and from Thomas Phelan (D), running for St. Mary’s County sheriff, Debbie Mills-Burch (R), a candidate for St. Mary’s County circuit court clerk, Guy Clarke, running as an independent against incumbent O’Connor for his commission seat and member of the St. Mary’s County Planning Commission and former Commissioner President Barbara Thompson (R).
Frederick’s top donors include $679 from Michael Young of Camp Springs, $544 from Brambly Inn in Abell, and $500 from Big D&H Holding, LLC in Leonardtown.
“You can have a boatload of funding, but you need people to come out and vote. That’s what matters,” Frederick said.
Timothy Ridgell (D), owner of Chesapeake Trophy in Lexington Park who is vying for the seat left by Commissioner Jarboe (R), who is not running for reelection, raised $7,500 from June 11 to Aug. 21, and has a balance of $5,414. His opponent, Eric Colvin (R), raised $1,301 in contributions, ending the filing period with $624 in the bank.
Colvin, mostly self-funding his campaign, previously told The Enterprise that he is not soliciting campaign contributions, but accepts donations from supporters.
“At the end of the day, voters look at the actual candidate, and what the candidate has to offer,” Colvin said. Ridgell’s campaign cash “makes it a little easier for him to get his message out there, but it just means I have to work harder,” he added.
Ridgell spent $2,596 on printing and campaign materials and $302 on fundraising expenses. His largest donors are George Aud of Elkridge on behalf of Great Mills Heating & Air at $1,000; AB&H Excavating Inc in Callaway, who contributed $500; CA Bean Inc. in California at $450; Joseph Knott of Great Mills at $500 and Vail Rigby LLC in Leonardtown at $500.
Ridgell did not respond to requests for comment.
Colvin has received donations from CMI Group LLC and CMI Associates in Charlotte Hall, both at $100, and took in a combined $200 from Charlotte Hall Square LLC and Charlotte Hall Self Storage LLC.
Roy Alvey, who officially entered the race late June and is running unaffiliated against Colvin and Ridgell, reported a bank balance of $24,790, which includes $4,000 in loans. Alvey spent $1,416 on printing and campaign materials from June 29 to Aug. 21.
Alvey did not respond to a request for comment.
Clarke raised $4,465 during the filing period, and spent $2,727 on campaign materials and $384 on fundraising expenses. O’Connor reported a balance of $831, with no expenditures or contributions.
Howard J. Thompson (D), chair of the planning commission and candidate for commissioner president, received $4,650 in contributions from United Industrial Workers in Camp Springs for $1,000, Bernard Beavan in the amount of $500, C&C Plumbing & Septic, also for $500, and $500 from Mary Leigh Harless of Lexington Park.
Thompson’s opponent, incumbent Guy, filed an affidavit, although it did not appear on the state board of elections website.
Morgan, who is running unopposed, reported a bank balance of $33,473, with $1,000 in contributions from Grasso Realty Group, LLC in La Plata, and spent $20 on a fee for filing his report after the deadline.