Maryland U.S. House incumbents raise donations from across country

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By Katishi Maake

Capital News Service 

Two of Maryland’s recently re-elected Democratic congressmen raised the majority of their individual contributions from out-of-state donors, with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, an incumbent representing the 5th District, garnering the largest proportion.

Incumbents such as longtime Rep. Hoyer, D-Mechanicsville, and John Delaney, D-Potomac, faced little opposition during the primary election.

Hoyer, likely due to his leadership position, raised $3.5 million from the beginning of last year to the filing deadline of Oct. 19, the most among winning candidates. Only 25% of his contributions, however, came from individuals, with 65% coming from PACs, a Capital News Service analysis found.

Of the $920,000 donated to Hoyer from individuals, 70% came from outside the state. Hoyer represents the state’s 5th District, which includes all of St. Mary’s, Charles and Calvert counties and portions of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties.

Rep. John Sarbanes, D-Towson, who opposes the 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC, raised all his campaign donations from individual donors, with almost half, however, coming from outside Maryland. He raised $923,450 since the start of 2015, according to the Federal Election Commission.

In the state’s arguably most competitive general election Congressional race, Delaney raised about $1.6 million since the beginning of last year to defeat Republican Amie Hoeber to retain his 6th District seat. Delaney is a member of the House Committee on Financial Services and raised more than half a million dollars in individual out-of-state contributions.

Jamie Raskin

Then-state Sen. Jamie Raskin, D-Montgomery, won a competitive April primary in the 8th District against eight other candidates, including millionaire businessman David Trone and onetime local television anchor Kathleen Matthews, to claim Rep. Chris Van Hollen’s seat. Raskin won despite Trone spending more than $12 million of his own money.

Raskin raised approximately $2.4 million since April of 2015, the second-most among all winning Maryland candidates for the U.S. House. He has been an outspoken advocate of campaign finance reform and curbing the influence of big money interests in politics.

Nearly 73% — $1.7 million — of Raskin’s donations came from individuals. Of that, 66% came from within in the state.

Raskin, however, took in about $259,000 from political action committees, about 10% of his contributions.

Brown, Harris

Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, who will replace fellow Democrat Rep. Donna Edwards in the 4th District, had the lowest proportion of out-of-state individual contributions, with less than 20 percent.

Maryland’s lone Republican, Rep. Andy Harris of the 1st District comprising the Eastern Shore, parts of Harford, Baltimore and Carroll counties, raised $1.185 million, with $744,000 from individuals (63%) and the rest from political action committees. About 42% of the money came from out of state, many from anesthesologist doctors like Harris.

  • Bohsandos2015

    Why is it that the contact sections on many websites for members of Congress will not permit you to send a message without putting in the correct zip code (i.e. indicating that you live in their district), but yet anyone can give them money? Odd.