WASHINGTON — Candidates in competitive congressional races in Maryland are raising millions ahead of the July 19 primary, while Democratic incumbents in what are considered safe seats use their fundraising power to support the party and its candidates elsewhere, according to Federal Election Commission documents.
Maryland has only two high-profile House contests this year.
In the 4th District, a handful of Democrats are vying for the primary to succeed Rep. Anthony Brown, D-Upper Marlboro, including former Rep. Donna Edwards. A primary win equates to an election in the heavily Democratic district.
In the 1st District, Rep. Andy Harris, R-Cockeysville, is running in more competitive territory and appears to be heading for a serious challenge in November, most likely by well-funded Democrat Heather Mizeur.
The stakes for Democrats are high in the medium term.
“History would tell us to expect Democrats to lose both houses eventually — definitely lose seats in both,” Candace Turitto, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland, told Capital News Service. “So you divided the government. You’re kind of putting (President Joe) Biden on the chopping block the entire second half schedule. He needs congressional action on a lot of things.
Nine Democrats are vying for the 4th District seat, but only two have shown fundraising prowess.
Edwards, who represented the district for eight years before losing a Senate bid in 2016, has raised more than $625,000 since January 2021. Glenn Ivey, the former Prince George’s County state attorney, has raised over $297,000 since January. Ivey entered April with over $583,000 in cash while Edwards has over $460,000.
Ivey is making a third run for the 4th District seat. He ran unsuccessfully against Edwards in 2011 and lost in 2016 to Brown, who is leaving Congress to run for attorney general of Maryland.
The old Del. Angela Angel was the only other Democratic candidate to file an FEC report. She raised just over $99,000.
Of the three Republicans in the GOP primary, Jeff Warner raised less than $38,000. The other two candidates did not file reports.
Ivey has received the endorsement of state lawmakers and is also backed by the political action committee of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which has given him more than $158,000 this cycle. Ivey also loaned his campaign $150,000 in February.
Edwards won endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California and other House lawmakers. Emily’s List, the liberal group that supports women candidates, endorsed Edwards and gave her $5,000 in March.
Harris has been in the House since 2011 and holds what analysts consider a safe Republican seat.
But the redrawn district lines have encouraged a serious challenger in Mizeur, who has edged out the incumbent so far, with a total of more than $1.7 million to Harris’ nearly $1.3 million. But Harris declared more than $1.8 million in cash, while Mizeur declared more than $1.1 million.
Victory Now, a leadership PAC from Sen. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland, donated $5,000 to Mizeur’s campaign. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Kensington, donated $5,000, while House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, donated $4,000 to support Mizeur’s House bid.
Mizeur’s main opponent, Dave Harden, a former Obama administration official, raised nearly $333,000. Another Democratic challenger, Malcolm Colombo, raised less than $2,000 and pulled out last month.
Maryland’s primary was originally scheduled for June 28 but was moved to July 19 due to delays in the redistricting process.
A state judge rejected the Democrats’ redistricting map in mid-March, arguing it was a blatant attempt to gerrymand districts in their favor and get rid of the only seat held by Republicans in the Congress. Gov. Larry Hogan finally approved a map in late April that increased the number of Republican-leaning areas in the Harris District.
The new map also made the 6th District, now owned by Rep. David Trone, D-Potomac, more competitive. The Cook Political Report, for example, considers the seat to be competitive but Democratic-leaning.
The National Republican Campaign Committee included Trone on its target list this cycle.
Trone loaned his campaign $2 million in March, according to documents filed by the FEC. His personal loan total is over $2.5 million for this cycle. Trone largely self-funded its unsuccessful House bid in 2016, as well as its winning campaigns in 2018 and 2020.
Trone is also bolstering the party by donating $365,000 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. His wife, June Trone, donated $95,000 to the DCCC in February.
Of Trone’s top three Democratic challengers, Benjamin Smilowitz raised nearly $63,000 at the end of March after spending nearly $28,000 since January.
On the GOP side, six candidates are vying for the chance to face Trone.
Washington Del. County’s Neil Parrott, who ran against Trone two years ago, is easily leading the fundraiser, raising more than $188,000 this cycle and ending March with nearly $262,000 in cash. . Two other Republican candidates in the race, Jonathan Jenkins and David Wallace, have collectively raised just over $60,000.
Since January, Raskin has raised nearly $908,000, bringing his total contributions to more than $2.8 million for this midterm election cycle to retain his seat in the 8th District.
Raskin, who rose to national prominence during the impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump, gave the DCCC $250,000, according to FEC records. He transferred an additional $100,000 to the committee in March, bringing his total contributions to $350,000.
In the 5th District, Hoyer has raised more than $1.9 million this round, including more than $388,000 since January, according to FEC filings.
Hoyer has two main opponents, but only McKayla Wilkes, a progressive Democratic challenger, filed an FEC report. She raised over $134,000.
Of seven GOP primary candidates in the Hoyer District, Republican Christopher Palombi was the only one to file a report with the FEC, and it showed he had raised less than $24,000.
Democratic incumbents continued to outperform their opponents in other House districts.
In the 3rd District, Towson’s John Sarbanes Rep. has raised more than $150,000 this cycle, including more than $47,000 since January. His campaign had more than $1 million in cash as of April, according to documents filed by the FEC. His four Republican challengers have collectively raised less than $84,000.
In the 2nd District, Dutch Ruppersberger Rep, D-Timonium, has raised more than $625,000 this cycle. His three other Democratic challengers, including former Baltimore County progressive activist Brittany Oliver, collectively raised more than $58,000.
Republican candidate Bernard Flowers raised just over $10,000. The other Republican challengers in the race have not submitted FEC reports.
In the 7th District, Rep. Kweisi Mfume of Baltimore entered April with more than $476 trillion in cash. The former NAACP president has raised nearly $287,000 this cycle. None of the other two Democratic primary candidates and none of the four GOP candidates have filed fundraising reports with the FEC.
Van Hollen, running for his second term in the Senate, far outperforms his opponents.
His campaign has raised more than $7.6 million this cycle.
Ten Republicans are vying for the opportunity to face Van Hollen. Only one, James Tarantin, owner of a merchandising business, raised significant sums: just over $164,000.
The Cook Political Report rates the seat as solidly Democratic.
Van Hollen ended March with more than $5.4 million in his war chest.
The Van Hollen Victory Now PAC leadership gave $15,000 to the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee in March 2021 and another $15,000 in February.
The PAC has also donated to Democratic Sens campaigns. Raphael Warnock in Georgia and Mark Kelly in Arizona, among others in the Senate.