Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Campaign Finance Reports, Pre-Primary 1: Districts 14, 15, 16 and 17

Following are summaries of candidates’ campaign finance filings for the period of 1/14/10 through 8/10/10, along with our take on what they mean.

District 14

Senate challenger Karen Montgomery’s cash on hand seems adequate for a mail budget, especially given the fact that progressive groups will be making independent expenditures on her behalf. Senator Rona Kramer’s cash on hand is meaningless considering her self-financing capability. She has already deposited $105,000 of her own money into her prior campaigns. At any time, Kramer can write herself another big check and start blanketing the district with mailers.

Of the Delegate candidates, only Anne Kaiser (the one incumbent), Craig Zucker and Eric Luedtke have any money. The majority of Bo Newsome’s outside contributions were accounted for by a $6,000 check from County Executive Ike Leggett. No one else is really in the game. As of this writing, Vanessa Ali has not filed and is already being fined.

District 15

Senator Rob Garagiola has no primary challenger and his huge stock of cash is likely headed to Democratic Senate candidates in other parts of the state. Delegate Brian Feldman has always been a solid fundraiser. Delegate Kathleen Dumais has not, but she wins anyway. None of the open seat candidates have any real cash, but Aruna Miller should benefit from her endorsements and her membership on the incumbents’ slate. This is a sleepy district long removed from the two-party battles of 2002.

District 16

The incumbent slate of Senator Brian Frosh and Delegates Susan Lee and Bill Frick have a combined $401,591 in cash on hand, MUCH more than necessary for self-defense. All of the action has been among the challengers. Kyle Lierman easily led everyone in contributions and burn rate. Ariana Kelly has the most cash on hand, but she really should not be bragging about her financial performance considering that she loaned herself three times more money than she received from outside contributors. Seven challengers tossed in a combined $195,600 of their own money into their campaigns, guaranteeing full garbage bags across the district through primary day. Other than Kelly and Lierman, the challengers still must find ways to distinguish themselves from each other.

District 17

Senate challenger Cheryl Kagan has outraised incumbent Jennie Forehand three reporting periods in a row, but the two have rough financial parity near the end of the race. Such a situation usually benefits the incumbent because name recognition alone is worth a lot of money, but Kagan has vastly outhustled Forehand for months.

Delegate Jim Gilchrist is a hapless fundraiser and is VERY lucky that no quality House challenger entered the race. The lack of a Delegate contest deprives us of the opportunity to print mailers from Kumar “Bad Boy” Barve, whose infamous sense of humor would have made for great material. Hopefully the Bad Boy will see fit to zing Republican challenger Dan Campos.

Tomorrow, we’ll cover State Legislative Districts 18, 19, 20 and 39.