U.S. Rep. David Trone (D) has been pouring millions of dollars into his campaign for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by retiring Sen. Ben Cardin (D), outspending his rivals by a wide margin and gaining ground in the polls.
Trone Leads in Fundraising and Polling
According to the latest campaign finance reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, Trone raised $63,112 in individual contributions in the third quarter of 2023, but also loaned his campaign more than $9.7 million of his own money. He has spent more than $10 million since May, including a nearly $2 million media buy in September.
Trone, the wealthy owner of a national chain of liquor stores, has said he may be willing to spend more than $40 million of his own money on the race, arguing that it frees him from being influenced by special interests.
His spending spree seems to be paying off, as a recent campaign poll showed him with an 11-point lead over his closest competitor, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks (D), who raised $1,516,721 in the third quarter, the most among the candidates who rely on donations. Alsobrooks spent $745,009 during the same period and had more than $2.1 million cash on hand.
Alsobrooks Touts Grassroots Support and Experience
Alsobrooks, who is seeking to become the first woman and the first African-American to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate, has touted her grassroots support and her experience as a county executive and a former state’s attorney.
Her campaign said she raised more in the third quarter than any other candidate in a non-election year quarter in Maryland history, and that her contributions came from every jurisdiction in the state. She also doubled the number of contributors from the previous quarter.
Alsobrooks has also highlighted her record of delivering results for Prince George’s County, such as expanding access to health care, improving public safety, and investing in education and infrastructure.
Jawando and Dominguez Trail Behind
The other two Democrats in the race, Montgomery County Councilman Will Jawando and businessman Juan Dominguez, trail far behind Trone and Alsobrooks in both fundraising and polling.
Jawando, who is also running as a progressive and a champion of racial and economic justice, raised $214,159 in the third quarter, spent $206,499 and had $322,333 cash on hand. He has been critical of Trone’s self-funding, saying it undermines democracy and gives him an unfair advantage.
Dominguez, who is running as an outsider and a Latino voice, had not filed a campaign finance report as of late Monday evening. His campaign received a notice last month from the FEC requiring additional documentation of his second quarter financials, including a $21,600 personal loan. A response is due next week.
Republicans Face Uphill Battle
On the Republican side, three candidates have opened federal campaign finance accounts in the race, but none of them have reported any significant financial activity to the FEC.
They are John Teichert, a retired Air Force colonel and former commander of the 11th Wing at Joint Base Andrews; Michael Higgs, a former Montgomery County Republican Party chairman and a current member of the county’s Board of Appeals; and Timothy Walters, a co-founder of the Reopen Maryland movement and a former congressional candidate.
The Republicans face an uphill battle in Maryland, a heavily Democratic state that has not elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate since 1980. The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election analysis website, rates the race as “solid Democratic.”