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Mosby far behind opponents in fundraising for Baltimore state’s attorney’s race

Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has fallen far behind her two challengers in the Democratic primary race for the position. The primary is on July 19, though early voting starts earlier that month. (The Daily Record/Madeleine O’Neill)

Incumbent Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby raised a fraction of the money her opponents did in the three-way race for the Democratic nomination for the job, newly released campaign finance reports show.

Mosby brought in just $38,738 in contributions from January through June, a campaign season that was overshadowed by her federal indictment on perjury charges.

Her opponents in the Democratic primary, Thiru Vignarajah and Ivan Bates, reported much higher contribution totals. Vignarajah raised a whopping $600,784, while Bates raised $449,328.

Mosby also has the smallest amount of cash on hand: just $177,826, compared to Vignarajah’s $641,482 and Bates’ $454,297.

The Mosby campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the fundraising totals.

Vignarajah said his campaign’s fundraising success shows momentum, especially because he joined the race for state’s attorney late. Vignarajah announced he was running in late March, several months after Bates.

“We’re incredibly proud that our supporters were not only vocal and desperate for change, but are committed to providing us the fuel to get the word out,” Vignarajah said.

Mosby was widely expected to run for reelection but didn’t formally announce that she would seek the job again until April. Her indictment in January made the campaign more complicated, especially after her trial was postponed until September — months after the July 19 primary.

Mosby pleaded not guilty to charges of perjury and making false statements on loan applications. Though she initially pushed for a trial that would take place before the primary, her defense lawyers ultimately sought a continuance, citing the amount of discovery they had received from federal prosecutors.

Mosby is accused of falsely claiming financial hardship related to the COVID-19 pandemic in order to withdraw money from her city retirement account. She is also charged with failing to disclose a $45,000 IRS lien when she applied for mortgages on two vacation properties in Florida, and of making other false statements to secure favorable interest rates.

Mosby’s opponents have largely avoided the topic of her indictment during the campaign.

Bates has spent by far the most of any candidate in the race, at more than $221,000. He spent more than $60,000 on media buys, including radio and television advertising, and another $54,000 on fees to Rice Consulting, a Bel Air firm that fundraises for Democrats.

“Ivan Bates launched his campaign with a focus on prosecuting violent repeat offenders and getting illegal guns off the street,” said Nick Machado, Bates’ campaign manager. “His fundraising report shows him as a leading force financially. Combined with strong local backing from city-based elected officials, we are absolutely positioned to win the state’s attorney race.”

Mosby has spent $58,114, while Vignarajah has spent just $41,562, more than half of which went toward polling.

Vignarajah said he will advertise aggressively during the last phase of the primary.

“We’re going to go all out all across the city and we’re going to have a massive (Get Out the Vote) program,” he said.

Vignarajah and Bates both faced Mosby in her 2018 reelection campaign. Mosby won that primary, which in heavily Democratic Baltimore usually means winning the general election, with about half of the vote, while her opponents split the remaining ballots.