Schuh continues to grow campaign coffers in Anne Arundel

January 21, 2017

County Executive Steve Schuh saw his already sizable campaign coffers grow over the last year as he rounded the corner past the halfway point of his first term and toward the 2018 election.

The Republican from Gibson Island took in $658,794 in campaign contributions in the last year, according to an annual campaign finance report filed last week by his campaign committee, Citizens to Elect Steve Schuh.

After expenditures, the influx of contributions raised his cash balance to $695,705.71, an increase of nearly $250,000 compared to this time last year.

"I'm very gratified by the results of our fundraising year," Schuh said Thursday. "It's humbling to have so many hundreds of Anne Arundel County families and small businesses show their support."

Schuh said he has raised more this election cycle than any other elected official in the state beside Gov. Larry Hogan.

Schuh collected $1.4 million in contributions in 2015, the start of the four-year election cycle, and 2016 combined.

In 2015, contributions to Schuh's campaign committee totaled $760,611.87, significantly more than the off-year fundraising figures of past county executives, Dan Nataf, director of the Center for the Study of Local Issues at Anne Arundel Community College, said at the time.

Thursday, Nataf said that unless the Democrats come up with an impressive challenger, Schuh may not need the kind of money currently in his coffers for a successful re-election bid.

But it could be good for potential political endeavors further down the road.

"With politicians, I think their instinct is there's never enough money," Nataf said. "They just don't know what's ahead of them."

Schuh on Thursday said he was not eyeing any other elected office.

"I'm focused 100 percent on the job I have ... here in Anne Arundel County," he said.

Schuh's campaign benefited from several contributions from donors with addresses outside the county last year, according to the finance report.

Individuals and organizations with Baltimore addresses, for example, gave the Schuh campaign $46,674 last year, accounting for about seven percent of all contributions.

When asked, Schuh said the reason for so many out-of-county contributors is people throughout the state taking note — and approving — of what his administration is doing.

"They like our policies and think they can be models" for other areas of the state, Schuh said.

Under state law, the maximum amount individual and corporate donors are allowed to give to any one candidate each four-year election cycle is $6,000.

Schuh had about two dozen donors reach the maximum limit last year, with contributions of $6,000 from:

•Ashby Point Capital LLC — A private equity firm based in Arnold, it is owned by partners William J. Westervelt and James D. Leroux. Westervelt was named last month to head Schuh's Commission on Government Innovation and Effectiveness.

•Eastern Excavating & Grading Inc.— A construction, mining and excavating company with an Eastern Excavating office in Odenton.

•Parkside Water & Sewer LLC of Glenwood.

•11141 Industrial Road LLC — Although the donation report lists Laurel as its address, this limited liability corporation is registered in Virginia.

Schuh reported spending $408,815.25 last year, compared to $542,720.56 the year prior.

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/elections/ph-ac-cn-county-campaign-finance-0120-20170121-story.html