ANNAPOLIS — Republican Larry Hogan will use public campaign finance money for his general election run for governor of Maryland, a move that will effectively tap out the state’s fund unless it is replenished, a state elections board official said Wednesday.
Hogan, who used public funding for his successful primary campaign, notified the board late Tuesday that he would again use public financing, his campaign said.
“Late last night we confirmed with the (Maryland) State Board of Elections our decision to accept Fair Campaign Financing Act funds,” Adam Dubitsky, a Hogan campaign spokesman, said in an email Wednesday.
Hogan will be eligible for about $2.6 million to spend on his campaign, and he will be limited to spending that much. Both the state central committee for the Republican Party and local central committees could spend an additional $1.8 million each to help Hogan’s campaign. Democratic central committees could spend an equivalent amount on Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown’s campaign.
Hogan, who will be eligible for the funding when the election is certified Thursday, is expected to be an underdog in campaign funds against Brown, who raised about $12 million for the primary.
Both Hogan and Democratic primary candidate Heather Mizeur used public campaign funds this year. It is the first time public campaign financing will be used by a candidate in the general election since 1994, when Republican Ellen Sauerbrey used the fund.
The use of the fund this year will bring it down to less than $1.5 million, which would not be enough to fund candidates at the levels it did this year.
“We will not have the ability to fully fund a primary or a general election candidate probably for the next election, definitely not a general,” said Jared DeMarinis, director of the candidacy and campaign finance division for the Maryland State Board of Elections.
In 2010, Maryland stopped including a spot on state tax forms for voluntary contributions to the fund, and it does not have a source of new revenue.