By Jon Banister
Capital News Service
Former Marriott executive and news anchor Kathleen Matthews, a Democrat, has pulled ahead in fundraising in the race to fill Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s Montgomery County-based congressional seat.
Matthews announced a third quarter haul of $564,000, with $891,000 in cash on hand.
The previous fundraising leader, State Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Takoma Park, fell behind Matthews in the third quarter, with $375,000 raised between July 1 and September 30, according to the lawmaker’s campaign press release. Raskin also reported $690,000 in cash on hand.
Raskin attributed his dip in fundraising from the second to third quarter to summer travel by potential donors.
“Fundraising in July and August was tough because so many people were away, but we kept right on knocking doors and had a remarkable September for reaching our political and fundraising goals,” Raskin said in a statement.
Experiencing a similar summer slump, Del. Kumar Barve, D-Gaithersburg, pulled in less than half the amount of his second quarter total, with $132,000 raised between July and September and $276,000 in cash on hand.
Another Republican enters race
Silver Spring financial professional Aryeh Shudofsky, a Republican, announced Thursday he is running for the seat.
“Washington is a mess. It’s clear we need an independent voice who will do what is best for Maryland’s 8th District, not just toe the party line,” Shudofsky said in a statement announcing his candidacy.
Another Republican, Silver Spring Lawyer Shelly Skolnick announced his bid for the seat last week. Neither Republican candidate has released fundraising information.
The 8th Congressional District is widely considered by political experts to be safe for the Democrats. Van Hollen is running for the U.S. Senate.
Matthews ‘swinging into full gear’
Matthews, wife of MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, said her campaign is “swinging into full gear.”
“It’s clear that we have the strong support of a diverse coalition of voters and donors, and real momentum as we move into the next phase of this campaign,” Matthews said in a statement.
David Wasserman, political analyst and House editor for The Cook Political Report, said he is not surprised to see Matthews leading given her corporate connections, but he said the numbers shouldn’t concern Raskin supporters.
“Raskin doesn’t need to raise more money (than Matthews) to be competitive,” Wasserman said. “His path to victory is portraying Matthews as too moderate.”
Wasserman said he still sees the race as a three-way competition with Raskin and Matthews in better positions than Barve.
A fourth Democratic candidate, Johns Hopkins University professor David Anderson, said in a statement that he raised $66,000.
Three other candidates, Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez, D-Montgomery, former Education Department official William Jawando and former State Department official Joel Rubin have yet to release their third quarter totals.