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Eye on Annapolis

The Daily Record's Maryland state government blog

Hogan to report $9M in campaign war chest

Gov. Larry Hogan is expected to report more than $9.3 million in cash on hand with just over two months to go before the general election, according to a campaign finance memo released by the governor’s campaign.

Hogan’s campaign raised nearly $2.3 million between June 11 and Aug. 21 and an additional $1.25 million for the Maryland Republican Party over the same 72-day period, according to the memo from Tom Kelso, Hogan’s campaign chairman.  1a-hogan-larry-interview018mf

“Our substantial fundraising advantage puts the Hogan/Rutherford campaign in a very strong position to build upon our dominating lead in the polls, and ultimately secure victory in November,” Kelso wrote. “However, especially should Jealous continue the impressive fundraising pace he demonstrated in the primary, we cannot let down our guard.”

A spokeswoman for the Jealous campaign was not immediately available for comment.

Campaigns are expected to file their latest fundraising reports with the Maryland State Board of Elections by midnight Tuesday.

The announcement comes with less than 60 days before the start of early voting Oct. 25 and 71 days until the Nov. 6 general election.

Over the four-year cycle so far, the Hogan-Rutherford campaign has reported raising nearly $24 million for both the incumbent’s re-election efforts as well as the state party.

Additionally, the Republican Governors Association has spent more than $2 million in independent expenditures on behalf of Hogan’s re-election. That includes a serious of ads targeting Jealous in the weeks following the June primary — ads that the Democratic nominee has allowed to go unanswered.

Two polls since the primary — an internal Jealous poll and an independent survey conducted by Annapolis-based Gonzales Research and Media Services — show the Democratic nominee trailing by as much as 16 points.

Meanwhile, Hogan continues to fly high in personal popularity with approval numbers continuing in the 70 percent range. A national poll continues to rank Hogan as the second-most popular governor in the country but in a statistical tie with Massachusetts Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

Jealous raised nearly $2.9 million for the primary and finished the last reporting period with slightly more than $350,000 in cash on hand.

Benjamin Jealous. (The Daily Record / Bryan P. Sears)

Benjamin Jealous. (The Daily Record / Bryan P. Sears)

“Since then, of course, Jealous has captured the nomination, and we expect that he has largely consolidated the Democratic donor base,” wrote Kelso.

Kelso, in his memo, called Jealous a “formidable fundraiser” and said he expects the Democratic nominee to report “north of $2 million cash on hand” when he files his report.

“Even with those numbers, we would enjoy a $7 million cash on hand advantage, which would allow us to aggressively pursue our advertising strategy,” wrote Kelso. “In turn, Jealous will either have to continue to bide his time or take a gamble that early spending could shore up his poor poll performance enough to generate a steady stream of donations.”

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