WASHINGTON – Republican Rep. Constance Morella has more than 2,000 times the cash in the bank as the nearest Democratic challenger, recent campaign finance reports show.
At the end of last year, Morella had $410,499 in the bank for her 1996 re-election campaign. Democratic challenger Charlotte M. Meyer had $173, according to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
None of the other 11 candidates for the 8th District seat had filed FEC reports. Candidates are not required to file if they have not raised or spent at least $5,000.
Morella, 64, of Bethesda, raised more than $141,327 during 1995, her report showed. She incurred no debt last year, nor did she spend any of her own money.
She raised more money in 1995 from special interests, or political action committees, than from individuals. About $54,300 came from individuals; about $70,905 came from PACs.
Meyer, a polling and survey interviewer from Rockville, raised $1,370 for her campaign in 1995, her FEC report showed. That included $970 in her personal funds that she contributed to the campaign.
Meyer did not have any debt at the end of last year, nor did she receive any money from PACs.
During the last half of 1995, Morella received at least $10,000 from government-employee groups, such as the American Federation of Government Employees PAC and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees PAC, her report showed.
She is a member of the House Government Reform & Oversight subcommittee on civil service, which has oversight over federal- worker issues.
Morella said receiving money from such groups does not affect how she votes on related issues.
“I think these groups know that I care very much about them,” she said.
There are groups that Morella will not accept money from, such as tobacco and pro-gun groups, she said.
Three Republicans are challenging Morella in the March 5 primary. They are freshman state Del. Barrie S. Ciliberti, 59, of Gaithersburg; Luis F. Columba of Rockville; and John C. Webb Jr. of Gaithersburg.
Patty White, the treasurer and secretary for Ciliberti’s campaign committee, said he has only been taking contributions for the last four weeks and has raised about $1,000.
Other Democrats besides Meyer running for the 8th District seat are George Thomas English Jr., a retired economist from Silver Spring; Michael Ibanez, 36, a teacher from Gaithersburg; Lih Y. Young of Potomac, an economic and statistical consultant; Donald Mooers, 35, a former State Department official from Kensington; Mignon Bush Davis, 46, of Gaithersburg; Ralph K. Shur, a novelist from Germantown; Dennis Ketterer of Darnestown; and John J. Garrity Jr. of Germantown.