In the race to be elected Baltimore City State’s Attorney, incumbent Marilyn Mosby is not raising as much money as Ivan Bates or Thiru Vignarajah, her two top Democratic challengers, according to fundraising reports from the campaign filed Tuesday evening.
From January 13 to June 7, Mosby raised $38,738 and spent $58,115. She has $177,827 on hand from her previous campaigns. Mosby is facing federal indictment, with prosecutors charging him with two counts of perjury and two counts of mortgage fraud related to his purchase of two vacation homes in Florida. His trial is scheduled for September, after the July 19 primary elections.
Challengers Bates and Vignarajah raised funds with fervor. Bates said he raised $449,328 during that time and Vignarajah brought in even more, claiming $600,784 in contributions. Vignarajah’s fundraising is impressive, given that all of it has come since mid-March when he announced his candidacy.
While both men have at least twice as much money as Mosby, Bates appears to be the only candidate spending big money heading into the election. Since Jan. 13, Bates has spent $221,013, nearly four times more than Mosby and five times more than Vignarajah.
Most of Bates’ expenses are for media buys, billboards, fundraising expenses, and consultants. Bates’ campaign paid more than $68,000 to three different consulting firms. And most of Bates’ media spending is with Mosaic Communications, an Arlington, Va. consulting group that produces radio ads for the campaign.
“We’re well positioned to win the state attorney race,” Bates campaign manager Nick Machado said.
Of the $41,562 spent by Vignarajah’s campaign, $22,000 was spent on polls. He spent an additional $6,778 on signage, including money to wrap up a disused private ambulance that was seen driving around town. Vignarajah rarely fights for local airtime, making frequent appearances on Sinclair’s Baltimore affiliate Fox45.
Spending less early in the race is part of the plan, Vignarajah said.
“We are running a disciplined campaign, which is why we have more money than the other two campaigns combined,” he said. “The apparent inability of other campaigns to collect or hold on to these critical resources is going to be a hurdle for them to get the word out in this critical final phase.”
A Democrat, Vignarajah has several high-profile Republican backers, including Gov. Larry Hogan.
Bates and Vignarajah owe their campaigns more than $150,000 in personal loans, and both have raised more than enough money to cover their loans. Mosby’s campaign has no outstanding loans.
Mosby’s campaign spent money on computer equipment and consulting, according to its financial report. Mosby’s campaign produced a video ad and did not open campaign headquarters until Saturday. Mosby announced his re-election bid on April 12, much later than his opponents, and increased his fundraising activities last week.
The campaign spent $15,600 with Quincey Gamble, a consultant who quit his 2018 campaign after it was revealed he was facing assault and harassment charges related to two separate women he was with. was going out. Gamble was charged in Baltimore City and his case was active while he worked for the campaign.
Mosby’s office assigned an outside prosecutor, Steven Kroll of the Maryland State Attorneys Association, to handle the cases against Gamble. In both cases, the charges were either dropped or postponed indefinitely, according to court records.
Mosby’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday morning on the decision to rehire Gamble as a consultant. The state’s attorney’s office referred questions about Gamble to the campaign.
Mosby has few high donations, with just two people donating $6,000, the maximum donation under Maryland law. Both donors are California residents and one of them, Patty Quillin, is married to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
Locally, former Baltimore Mayor and current University of Baltimore President Kurt Schmoke gave Mosby his biggest donation in town, with $1,500 on June 1.
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Unlike his January report, which contained significant legal expenses, Mosby did not use any campaign money for lawyers from January through June, according to his latest report. The Maryland State Board of Elections has opened an investigation into $48,000 Mosby paid into his account for legal fees in 2021. State law prohibits candidates and political committees from using campaign funds for fees related to investigations or legal proceedings which “have no direct connection”. with the application.
Ultimately, state election officials found that Mosby had not violated election law, but also cautioned that their ruling only applied to Mosby’s past legal expenses.
Although he entered the campaign late, Vignarajah proved to be a fundraising force, raising a maximum of $6,000 in donations from at least 55 donors. At least seven members of the Smith family, associated with the Sinclair Broadcasting Group, made maximum donations to Vignarajah, totaling $42,000.
Restaurateur Alex Smith, founder and chairman of Atlas Restaurant Group, and his wife Christina Ghani, were among the maximum donors to Vignarajah, but also contributed to Bates earlier in the campaign, giving him the maximum as well.
Vignarajah’s donors were largely local, but several major contributions poured in from supporters in California. Mark H. Fukunaga, president of Servco Pacific in Hawaii, contributed the maximum $6,000, as did a trust in Fukunaga’s name.
Bates collected the maximum donation from around 40 supporters. Among them were J. Mark Schapiro, co-chairman of Continental Realty Corporation who donated the maximum $6,000, and several other members of the Schapiro family. The Baltimore County-based real estate group has supported Bates financially in the past. Jack Luetkemeyer, also co-chairman, loaned Bates $150,000 at the end of his failed 2018 campaign for state’s attorney.
Baltimore Sun reporter Alex Mann contributed to this article.