Both of the Democratic candidates for county executive padded their early contribution totals with substantial loans from themselves or their family members.
County Council President Rich Fitzgerald reported that his campaign opened with a cash balance of $730,944. County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty yearend report showed his campaign committee with $451,136 in cash on hand after raising a little more than $500,000 in 2010 and spending just over $300,000, including several hefty television buys.
Precise comparisons of the fundraising activity are obscured by the fact that the Fitzgerald campaign, in an effort to present a robust fundraising picture, chose to submit a supplementary filing detailing its receipts in the last month in addition to the required year-end data. The largest sum in the Fitzgerald report, representing more than two-thirds of its total receipts, was a loan from the candidate. Without it, his receipts would amount the respectable, but significantly less impressive sum of roughly $250,000.
Mr. Flaherty’s report displays a similar apparent concern for appearances. His cash total of $451,136 included $190,000 in loans, most of them received from family members in the final hours of 2010. Mr. Flaherty’s report showed 2010 spending that dwarfed that of his rival, including a series of double-digit advertising buys on each of the city’s broadcast television stations.
So far, no Republicans have launched candidacies for the executive position. Councilman Matt Drozd, who has said he is considering the race, had $1,732 in cash in his campaign committee at the end of the year. Neither of the other two Republicans said to be eyeing the race, Councilman Chuck McCullough and Patti Weaver, a prominent Tea Party activist, have formed campaign committee.