WASHINGTON – The nation’s finances top the list of concerns for 2nd Congressional District Republicans, but they’ll need to attend to their own bottom lines in order to defeat well-funded Democratic Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger in November.
Ruppersberger, who has no primary opposition, has $555,859 in cash at end of 2011 according to year-end campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission.
None of the Republican challengers even comes close.
“While effective fundraising helps to get your message out, money doesn’t win elections, candidates do,” said campaign spokeswoman Jaime Lennon, who also serves as the congressman’s press secretary.
In 2011, the five-term congressman spent almost $23,000 more than he received.
Ruppersberger spent more than $18,000 on event catering that year, including $4,583.07 for a November event at Linwoods restaurant in Owings Mills, his reports show.
Lennon said that the catering was for campaign fundraisers.
According to his latest FEC filing, Ruppersberger received 238 individual donations worth $188,628 in 2011. Slightly more than 10 percent of the money raised came from individual donations from employees of the defense contractor Northrop Grumman. Ruppersberger is a member of the House Armed Service Committee.
Political action committees and other committees donated $319,305 to the representative.
Many defense companies donated money to Ruppersbeger through their PACs, such as Boeing, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman.
There are six Republicans running for the party’s nomination in the April 3 primary.
Afghanistan war veteran Larry Smith, of Timonium, is the only Republican candidate who has filed with the FEC to date.
Smith received $13,266 in individual contributions and donated $312 to his own campaign as of Dec. 31. Smith had $8,072 on hand.
“I don’t need the most money, I need enough money,” said Smith, who hopes to raise about $30,000 to fund his primary campaign.
Smith said he’s running because he is concerned about the sustainability of our government.
“We got about 10-12 years to reinvent our government or else it’s going to crash,” Smith said.
He criticized fellow Republican challengers — longtime state officeholders — Nancy Jacobs and Rick Impallaria, saying, “Neither one has the experience or the skill set that will allow them to hit the ground running” as the District 2 representative.
State Sen. Jacobs, of Abingdon, has not filed with the FEC so far this cycle because she officially entered the race in early January, which meant she wasn’t required to file under the previous deadline. The next filing deadline is April 15.
Campaign volunteer Suzanne Collins, who also serves as Jacobs’ Senate chief of staff, said Jacobs had raised $20,000 by late January. She did not know how much more money the candidate had raised since then.
Delegate Impallaria, a resident of Joppa, has not filed with the FEC. Like Jacobs, he wasn’t required to do so because he only recently entered the race.
He declined to provide an estimate of his fundraising total.
“I don’t want my opponents thinking I have a lot or thinking I have a little. Let them figure it out,” he said.
Impallaria said he believes he is the best candidate because he “handed Dutch his biggest defeat politically” in 2000 when Ruppersberger was the executive of Baltimore County.
Imapallaria said he spearheaded a successful referendum in 2000 to reject Ruppersberger’s legislation to use eminent domain “to confiscate land and give it to rich developers.”
Candidates Vlad Degen and Howard Orton had not raised or spent $5,000 as of the Jan. 31 filing deadline, so they were not required to file. Both candidates stressed their outsider status and said they were concerned about the national debt.
Vietnam War veteran Ray Bly said he is not taking or spending money on his campaign. He said that he is running because the government wants to claim his house since it is located near Route 1.