The money is flying in Maryland’s 1st Congressional District.
With less than two weeks until the district’s contentious House race between incumbent Rep. Frank Kratovil, D-Stevensville, and Republican challenger Andy Harris, spending has far eclipsed any other House race in the state — nearly three-quarters of all spending for House candidates has happened in the 1st District.
Together, Harris and Kratovil spent more than $1.3 million between Aug. 26 and Sept. 30 — the state’s other seven districts combined spent less than half a million dollars.
Kratovil outspent Harris, dropping $857,661 in September to Harris’s $457,535.
Most of Kratovil’s cash — $796,845 of it — went to television ad production and air time. He raised $375,122 and still has $866,002 on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings that were due Oct. 15. The next filing is due Thursday.
Harris spent $348,725 on television advertising, that dwarfs his next-largest expenditure category, a $30,020 payment to Maryland GOP fundraiser Amy Shuster for “consulting.” After raising $332,342 last month, he has $819,572 on hand.
Fundraising is down 38 percent during this same time period from the last time Harris and Kratovil fought it out, the 2008 election in which Kratovil won the seat by fewer than 3,000 votes. In September 2008, both candidates collected at least $530,000 each.
The state’s other House races, however, are not nearly as close, at least financially. Across the board, incumbents have an overwhelming fundraising advantage over their opponents: As a group, they raised $1.23 million dollars between Aug. 26 and Sept. 30, compared to challengers’ $389,027.
In District 2, incumbent Rep. C.A. “Dutch” Ruppersberger, D-Baltimore, raised $246,729 and spent $32,987, leaving him with $1,186,802 on hand. Republican challenger Marcelo Cardarelli raised $2,520, but spent $24,968. He is listed as having $38,589 still available but FEC records indicate the campaign is $96,000 in debt.
In District 3, Democratic incumbent Rep. John Sarbanes raised $16,685 in September and spent $72,498. He has $544,026 available in cash. Opponent Jim Wilhelm, who was warned by the FEC for missing an August reporting deadline, has not yet filed the Oct. 15 quarterly report.
District 4 incumbent Rep. Donna Edwards raised $51,599 and spent $76,438, leaving her with $152,719. The only FEC documents available for Republican challenger Robert Broadus state he has raised $5,206 since last January and spent about $5,316; he is listed as having negative $109.35 cash on hand.
District 5’s Charles Lollar, up against House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, had the most successful fundraising of any challenger, collecting $39,953 — though it was dwarfed by Hoyer’s $303,592. Hoyer spent $116,145 in September and still has $1.7 million; Lollar spent $43,658 and has $89,045 left.
District 6’s Republican incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett raised $34,953 but spent only $19,682, less than any other incumbent in Maryland. He has $336,447 on hand, while Democratic challenger Andrew Duck raised $6,364 and spent $5,403; he has $1,194 left.
In District 7, incumbent Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Baltimore, raised only $30,582 and spent $23,814 but still has $777,081 on hand. Republican challenger Frank Mirabile Jr. raised $1,480, spent $634 and has $2,436 available.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen, District 8 incumbent and chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, raised $169,954 and spent $47,154. He has $2.7 million cash on hand, more than twice as much as any other candidate for the House from Maryland. Republican challenger Michael Lee Philips raised $6,368 but spent $28,945; he has $38,141 on hand but is $101,046 in debt.