January 21, 2016

The Money Chase: Kittleman Raises Over Half A Million Dollars

People who know me from my national site know me as someone who is into the numbers behind politics and my first post will deal with just that This evening, we received a press release from our County Executive announcing his fundraising over his first year plus in office:

The Committee to Elect Allan Kittleman announced it raised $571,995 and had $513,973.48 in the bank in the most recent reporting period ending January 13, 2016, according to reports to be filed with the Maryland State Board of Elections. The majority of donations came from individual donors in amounts of $200 or less.

“Just as I said the evening I was sworn into office, I am humbled and honored by the support shown to me by the people of Howard County.” Kittleman said. “I believe our fundraising progress is a direct result of our countless hours spent meeting with residents in every corner of the county, organizing citizen task forces on key issues, and making it a practice to tour schools each week. As County Executive, I rely heavily on the input of citizens at every level and I believe people appreciate that.”

The reports were due yesterday for all candidates who have active campaign accounts and it is worth looking back on how the two top campaigns for County Executive in 2014 stood at about the same time period that these new reports covered (January 2012). Based on the campaign finance reports filed at the Maryland Elections website (you can check my numbers here, this was the total fundraising and spending by both Allan Kittleman and Courtney Watson beginning on November 17th, 2010 through the report issued for the period ending on January 12, 2012.

Candidate Receipts Expenditures Cash On Hand 1/11/12
Kittleman $93,714.10 $39,535.85 $62,909.04
Watson $180.030.00 $29,324.85 $171,709.43

Kittleman came out of the 2010 campaign with only about $8,600 in the bank while Watson had about $21,000 leftover from 2010. It was widely expected both candidates were running for County Executive the day the 2010 election ended and you can see from the annual reports for the first full year after the 2010 election that both candidates were already raising money. However, they were only just beginning. Based on the campaign finance reports filed at the Maryland Elections website, this was the total fundraising and spending by both Allan Kittleman and Courtney Watson beginning on November 17th, 2010 through the final report issued ending on November 11th, 2014.

Candidate Receipts Expenditures Cash On Hand 11/11/14
Kittleman $946,345.95 $950,038.12 $4,922.24
Watson $1,544,464.22 $1,522,372.78 $43,095.72

Note, there was clearly some spending between November 12th, 2014 and January 14th, 2015 related to the campaign of just over $30,000 for each candidate as was reflected in the January 2015 report, which would raise the overall spending figures slightly above for the campaign itself, but overall, you can see what it took to win and even more impressive that Kittleman managed to win despite being outspent by over 50%. If you hate money in politics, you can at least be happy to see money doesn’t mean everything as we saw how effective Kittleman’s more positive campaign was to help overcome the huge spending deficit against Courtney Watson. But what is even more interesting in comparing the two tables is both candidates had only raised about 10-12% of what they would eventually raised for the entire campaign in that first full year.

Candidate 1st Year Total Percent 1st Year
Kittleman $93,714.10 $946,345.95 9.9%
Watson $180,030.00 $1,544,464.22 11.7%

If this pace were to mirror itself in the 2018 campaign, seeing Allan Kittleman with already half a million plus in the bank means he is already well ahead of schedule and is on pace to raise quite of money for 2018. By comparison, the Democrat most widely expected to take him on, Calvin Ball, raised $63,043.72 and currently has just over $50,000 in the bank.  I am a little surprised by the low number Calvin Ball managed to raise for someone assumed to be running for County Executive, about 33% below what Kittleman raised in the first year and well below where Courtney Watson stood at the same time in the campaign cycle four years ago.

As I linked to above, you can check all my numbers here.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will look into the fundraising of some of the other candidates looking at reelection and also into the Board of Education candidates.


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