Collins, Ashburn campaigns attract most contributions
Bowling’s war chest still largest of district candidates
Candidates for the Charles County Board of Commissioners ramped up their campaign fundraising dramatically between mid-August and mid-October in the final run-up to the Nov. 6 gubernatorial election, according to financial statements filed by the candidates’ campaigns.
Between Aug. 22 and Oct. 21, Democratic candidate for county commissioners’ president Reuben B. Collins II raised just under $21,000 from nearly 90 individual and corporate donors.
The largest single contributors to Collins’ campaign during the two-month reporting period were the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ political action committee educational fund, in Washington, D.C., and G.S. Proctor & Associates Inc., a lobbying and consulting firm in Prince George’s County. Both contributed $2,000.
Collins’ other major donors include Chaney Enterprises of Gambrills and L. Gordon Croft, a philanthropist and Ruxton resident who has endowed scholarships for Charles County Public Schools.
The campaign’s expenses include $3,000 in consulting fees and over $2,300 for fundraising activities.
In the June primary, Collins defeated incumbent Peter F. Murphy (D) and former Chamber of Commerce Military Alliance Council president Brian Klaas, winning 43.3 percent of the Democratic vote.
Chris Dudley, Green Party candidate for commissioners’ president, is funding his campaign largely through a $6,000 loan that his campaign took out in mid-September. His campaign has received $320 in contributions from four donors, one of whom is Dudley himself.
After the primary, Collins’ Republican challenger Henry Thompson filed an affidavit declaring that he did not intend to receive or spend more than $1,000 cumulatively during his campaigns. Because of that, Thompson did not have to provide the State Board of Elections with an itemized list of contributions or expenses.
Four of the 11 candidates for commissioner filed similar affidavits, called an Affidavit of Limited Contributions and Expenditures, or ALCE, for the August-October reporting period.
As he did at the end of August, District 1 candidate Gilbert “B.J.” Bowling has the most available funds of any candidate for district commissioner, with a cash balance of a little over $9,400.
Contributions to Bowling’s campaign from 19 donors, ranging from two electronic fund transfers of $0.10 from the Community Bank of the Chesapeake to $2,000 from Jane Croft of Ruxton, totaled $4,461,17.
Other contributors to Bowling’s campaign include G.S. Proctor & Associates, Klaas, transit advocate Gary Hodge and Democratic state senate nominee Arthur Ellis.
The Bowling campaign also received a $500 contribution from the Friends of Mac Middleton, the campaign finance entity for Sen. Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton (D-Charles), whom Ellis beat in the June primary.
Most of Bowling’s expenses have been for fundraising events and meetings.
Bowling’s two challengers for District 1 commissioner, Republican Joe Crawford and Democratic write-in candidate Donta Varney, each filed an ALCE for the August-October reporting period.
In the race for District 2 commissioner, the campaign of Democratic nominee Thomasina “Sina” Coates reported that it had raised no additional campaign contributions in the reporting period.
The Coates campaign’s expenses totaled $274 for a website and for tickets and an advertisement for an event at Morgan State University in Baltimore.
Coates’ challenger, Green Party nominee Stanley Hayes, filed an ALCE.
District 3 Commissioner Amanda Stewart (D), who is running for re-election, is the only commissioner candidate who is unopposed in this year’s election.
As of Oct. 22, Stewart had received two donations totaling $150, one from the Maryland State Education Association’s Fund for Children and Public Education and one from Hughesville resident Margaret Carter.
Stewart’s campaign has taken out over $7,300 in loans since August.
District 4 Republican candidate James Ashburn took out a loan of $13,145.55 to fund his final sprint to Election Day, while incumbent Bobby Rucci (D) raised $4,500.
However, heavy spending by the Ashburn campaign during that same period has left the cash balances of both campaigns relatively neckand-neck. Rucci reported $4,851.88 in his war chest as of last week, while Ashburn had $4,222.50.
Rucci received a $2,500 contribution from La Plata resident John Maine and a $1,000 gift from Adam Henderson of Port Tobacco. Rucci’s other contributions were from Bobby Magruder Productions of Waldorf, the Charles County Correctional Officers Association and the Realtors PAC of Annapolis.
Above, from left, Democratic candidate for Charles County commissioners’ president Reuben B. Collins II, Republican candidate for District 4 commissioner James Ashburn and Democratic nominee for District 1 commissioner Gilbert “B.J.” Bowling.