COLLEGE PARK – Rep. Al Wynn’s 4th District was overhauled in redistricting, his constituents are decidedly more conservative thanbefore and his fund raising is down from previous years.
Not to worry, say political analysts, who are calling Wynn the odds-on favorite to be re-elected to a sixth term.
“The Republicans don’t stand a chance,” said pollster Larry Harris of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research. Harris believes the five-term Democrat,who won the past two elections with more than 80 percent of the vote,will garner a landslide win again this year.
Others apparently agree. Wynn attributes his weaker fund-raising thisyear to the fact that “it is harder to raise money when people think youare going to win.”
According to the most recent report with the Federal ElectionCommission, Wynn had raised $358,712 as of June 30, down from the$590,874 he raised for his 2000 election.
But Wynn still had $368,249 in the bank, after spending $287,357 onthis campaign, according to finance reports.
He said the spending is necessary for “getting to know the new voters”in his district, which had been mostly contained in Prince George’sCounty but was redrawn to include large chunks of northern and easternMontgomery County.
Harris said despite Wynn’s comparatively weak fund-raising year, the”dean of politics in Prince George’s County” has plenty of money in hiscampaign fund. In fact, Harris said, Wynn has so much money he is givingit to other candidates.
While Wynn is giving his money away, none of his challengers, oneDemocrat and four Republicans, have raised the minimum $5,000 to requirethe filing of a campaign finance report with the FEC.
Republican John Kimble said he plans to file with the FEC after theSept. 10 primary election. Kimble, who has raised little or no money inhis previous campaigns, has nonetheless been able to draw attention tohis campaigns, by enlisting Wynn’s estranged wife as his campaign managerone year and by offering to pose nude for Playgirl magazine in another.
Despite the lack of strong competition, Wynn said he “takes the racevery seriously.”
“This is not so much a campaign against the other candidate as it is a campaign to gain the public’s confidence,” Wynn said.