WASHINGTON – Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has more than four times as much cash to spend as his challenger heading into the closing days of the campaign, according to finance reports filed this week.
Bartlett, a Frederick Republican, had $234,626 on hand Oct. 16, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission. Democratic challenger Stephen Crawford, a University of Maryland lecturer also from Frederick, had $56,644, his report showed.
The disparity shows that Crawford would have a difficult time beating Bartlett in the paid advertising game in the closing weeks of the congressional campaign.
James Gimpel, University of Maryland assistant professor of government and politics, said Crawford’s depleted coffers mean he would have a better chance affording ads in the cheaper media markets in the western part of the district. Unfortunately, he said, these ads would have less impact for Crawford than ads running in the more expensive eastern corner, where people would be more likely to be sympathetic to a more moderate candidate.
Crawford is hoping to get a last-minute injection of $1,000 to $5,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said his campaign manager, Alec Kohut.
Officials with the DCCC could not be reached Friday.
Despite the difference in available money, Kohut said his candidate can still win the race. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see a change in representation in the 6th District,” he said.
The Crawford campaign has already spent $30,000 to $35,000 on radio ads and has paid for television ads that are running on Howard County cable television, Kohut said. The radio ads, produced by the Takoma Park-based consulting company MacWilliams Cosgrove Snider Smith Robinson, will focus on Bartlett’s record, he said.
From now until the Nov. 5 election, Bartlett will spend available funds on television and radio ads, said campaign spokesman Joseph Bartlett, his son.
Bartlett will also attend debates in Garrett County Sunday and Howard County Saturday. And he’ll be out waving signs along the street, Joseph Bartlett said.
The congressman has been airing television and radio ads for the past two weeks. “We’ve got a pretty equal media mix,” Joseph Bartlett said.
From now to election day, the Bartlett campaign plans to run ads on eight radio stations, television station WHAG-TV in Hagerstown, and on cable television in Carroll and Howard counties. The ads will focus on Bartlett’s voting record and his service to constituents.
Both campaigns said they will use direct mail from now until Nov. 5 to get their message out.
Their finance reports show Crawford has raised more money from individual contributors that Bartlett has. But because Bartlett pumped a lot of personal funds into his campaign, he has bested the challenger in overall receipts.
Between Jan. 1 and Oct. 16, Bartlett brought in $258,951 in receipts. That includes $102,232 from individual contributors, $67,997 from special-interest groups, called political action committees, and $106,000 in a loan he made to his campaign.
During the same period, Crawford brought in $258,951 in receipts, including $166,276 from individuals, $86,500 from PACs and $5,000 in a loan he made to his campaign.
Among the individuals contributing to Bartlett was Frederick News-Post publisher George Delaplaine, who gave at least $1,100 this year, and his wife Elizabeth, who gave at least $1,000.
Delaplaine declined to comment on the contribution. -30-