**FILE** Wes Moore (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Wes Moore (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

Former nonprofit executive and author Wes Moore raised the most money during the past year in efforts to secure the Democratic nomination for Maryland governor.

Moore, a first-time political candidate and military veteran from Baltimore, hopes to make history within a crowded Democratic field as the first Black candidate elected governor in the state’s history.

According to his campaign finance reports, Moore raised slightly more than $4 million while his running mate, former Del. Aruna Miller of Montgomery County, compiled nearly $773,000 for a total of $4.8 million. The Moore campaign has $3.1 million in the bank.

“I am so humbled by the grassroots army of supporters we have seen grow so quickly, drawn to our vision of increased work, wages and wealth for every Maryland family,” Moore said in a statement. “We have a lot of work to do but feel confident about our ability to share our message and not only win in June but bring our people-powered movement to Annapolis.”

Comptroller Peter Franchot became the first candidate to announce his candidacy and has reported more than $2 million in the bank. Along with his running mate, former Prince George’s County Council member Monique Anderson-Walker, the campaign has the most cash on hand with almost $3.3 million.

Campaign finance reports for the beginning of this year had to be submitted to the state Board of Elections by midnight Thursday, Jan. 20.

The winner will replace Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, whose second four-year term expires in January 2023.

Former Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez raised $2.7 million which includes more than $200,000 in donations from an exploratory committee. Perez has raised nearly $1.5 million cash on hand since officially launching his campaign in June.

Another Black candidate who exceeded the seven-figure mark, former U.S. Education Secretary John King Jr., raised $2.1 million between April 16 and Jan. 12. Along with $314,000 from his running mate, Michelle Siri, their campaign received $2.5 million.

And while King spent more than half on campaign staff, travel and other expenses, the campaign still has $1.2 million cash on hand.

Former nonprofit executive Jon Baron raised about $420,000 but he and his wife placed a $1.7 million loan toward the campaign. The loan remains what Baron has in the bank.

The remaining Democratic candidates who filed campaign finance reports include: 

  • Former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, who ran for governor in 2014, had $428,000 from a previous account and raised $509,000 between Jan. 14, 2021 to Jan. 12 of this year. He now has $393,000 cash on hand.
  • Former Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III and his running mate, Montgomery County Council member Nancy Navaro, count as the only team to use the state’s public financing system. The campaign cannot accept individual donations which exceed $250. It has raised nearly $129,000 and has $63,000 on hand.
  • Laura Neuman, who formed a campaign committee last month and officially announced her gubernatorial campaign last week, raised nearly $110,000. The former Anne Arundel County executive changed her political affiliation from Republican to Democratic in 2020. She also represents the only woman in the Democratic primary seeking the governor’s seat.
  • Ashwani Jain, a former official in the Obama Administration, raised more than $100,000 and has $43,500 in the bank. He has promoted his campaign as a volunteer unit.
  • Jerome Segal filed documents stating he doesn’t plan to raise or spend $1,000. He founded the former Bread and Roses Party.

Among the Republican candidates, former state Department of Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz raised nearly $1.5 million starting in April 2021. She currently has $1 million cash on hand.

“This amount raised will surpass any previous fundraising of a non-incumbent Republican in the governor’s race and puts us in a commanding financial position against any candidate that emerges from the Democratic primary,” said Allison Meyers, Shulz’s finance director, in a memo. 

“In the upcoming months, we will continue to aggressively fundraise and build a formidable campaign to win in November,” she said. 

Del. Daniel L. Cox, who represents portions of Carroll and Frederick counties and has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, raised $393,000 with $271,000 cash on hand. Along with other state elected officials, Cox cannot fundraise during the 90-day legislative session in Annapolis which ends April 12. Cox’s running mate, attorney Gordana Schifanelli from Queen Anne’s County, has $7,500 in the bank.

Perennial candidate and former state Del. Robin Ficker, who emphasized his campaign to cut the state’s sales tax by 2 cents from the current 6 cents, placed a $1.1 million loan to the campaign. He still has $910,000 cash on hand.

As of Sunday, Jan. 23, a campaign finance report was not listed for Joe Werner of Baltimore County.

Early voting in the primary election begins June 16 until June 23 with Election Day scheduled for June. 28.

Because Maryland holds closed primaries, only registered Democrats and Republicans can vote except for nonpartisan offices such as school boards.

David Lashar, an information technology executive from Annapolis, will run for governor representing the Libertarian Party. His campaign finance report shows $7,900 in the bank.

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