WASHINGTON–Rep. Chris Van Hollen raised more than $1.25 million in the first four weeks of his campaign for the U.S. Senate, taking advantage of his home district, one of the wealthiest in the nation and getting contributions from some national politicians.
Van Hollen, seeking to replace the retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, raised more than $1,028,000 in individual donations alone and just $31,000 from political action committees.
Van Hollen’s fundraising far outpaces his only declared opponent, Rep. Donna Edwards, D-Fort Washington, who raised $335,000 in the first three weeks of her campaign. She entered the race six days after Van Hollen.
“Since I announced my candidacy for the United States Senate, I’ve been overwhelmed by the support from people all across our great state. With their help, we will run a people-driven campaign focused on issues important to all Marylanders,” Van Hollen said in a statement released on the filing deadline last week. “I am committed to fighting every day to build an economy that works for all Marylanders and all Americans, not just the wealthy few.”
March 31 was the first fundraising deadline in 2015 for campaigns for federal office and filings for the deadline were due April 15.
Van Hollen’s campaign has touted raising more than 75 percent of its funds in-state. Edwards has raised 21 percent of her itemized individual contributions from the state of Maryland, according to a Capital News Service analysis.
A detailed analysis of Van Hollen’s funds was not immediately available.
Individual contributions below $200 do not have to be itemized and provide no information about the donor, like state of residence.
More than 95 percent of Van Hollen’s contributions from individuals totaled more than $200 and were itemized in his campaign’s Federal Election Commission filings, which were posted on the agency’s website Friday morning.
The majority of Van Hollen’s donations from Maryland came from the affluent communities of Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Kensington, which all lie within the district he has represented in the House of Representatives since 2003.
Van Hollen’s Eighth District is one of the 10 wealthiest in the nation, according to census data.
He received the maximum allowable contribution, $2,700 for the primary election, from many of the contributors from these towns. Some gave him an additional $2,700 earmarked for use in a general election.
Van Hollen also received contributions from other politicians, including some of national prominence.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., contributed $5,000 through his Searchlight Leadership Fund PAC. Former Secretary of the Interior and former Sen. Ken Salazar, D-Colo., contributed $1,000.
Reps. John B. Larson, D-Conn.; Gary Peters, D-Mich.; and John Yarmuth, D-Ky.; along with former Rep. Bill Owens, D-N.Y.; all contributed individually or through their PACs.
Kathleen Matthews, the former WJLA news anchor and current Marriott executive, contributed $2,700. Matthews is considering a run for Van Hollen’s seat in the House of Representatives.
State Sen. Jim Rosapepe, D-Prince George’s County, and Del. Dan Morhaim, D-Baltimore County, contributed $1,000 each to Van Hollen’s campaign.
The American Association for Justice and professional service firm Deloitte also contributed through their PACs. The American Association for Justice PAC gave Van Hollen his largest donation, $10,000. Deloitte contributed $7,500.
The PAC for Washington Gas contributed $1,500, the same amount it contributed to Edwards.
Van Hollen’s campaign receipts from the first quarter also include a $148,000 transfer from a joint fundraising account.