February 15, 2022,

Campaign Spending and County Proposal

Anne Arundel County Council voted down a public campaign finance resolution at its meeting on February 7th.  It would have put a new referendum item on the ballot in the fall to establish a small donor public matching system to fund Campaigns for County Executive and County Council.   Participation would be optional for candidates to receive public funds and if they opt in, they have to follow certain guidelines

Over 50 people testified some in favor (including the Pittman administration) and some opposed.  The four Democrats on the council voted in favor of the resolution, while the Republicans voted against it.  A supermajority of five votes was required to bring the question to the fall ballot.  The resolution would be asking the voters to decide if candidates should be given the option to raise money through local small dollar donors, with supplemental funding from county government. Under this proposal, candidates who choose this path would be banned from taking large-dollar donations from political action committees, corporations, unions and special interest groups.  The idea is not dead since the proposal could still get on the ballot if 10,000 residents sign a petition in favor of adding it to the ballot in November.

County Executive Primary

There is a lot of interest within the Republican party to become their nominee for County Executive in the fall. Last week John Grasso, a former County Councilman filed to run for the seat. He joins four other Republicans who are already in the race.  They are: Fernando Berra, County Council member Jessica Haire, Corporate Recruiter Chris Jahn and Former State Del. Herb McMillan.

They are competing to enter the general election to face Democratic incumbent Steuart Pittman who is seeking a second term. The primary election is schedule for June 28th so expect to start hearing a lot from these candidate.  Campaigns cost money and many times the candidate with a better fundraising team wins the election.  Several GOP candidates and the incumbent filed their initial financial reports on 1/12/22 showing the following amount of cash on hand:

  • Jessica Haire $619,999
  • Herb McMillian   $59,000
  • John Grasso     $2,300
  • Steuart Pittman $388,000