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Bartlett campaign coffers swelling

August 20, 1998

With the November election nearing, U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., had more than 500 times as much money in his campaign coffers as did his Democratic challenger.

Recent Federal Election Commission filings show Democrat Timothy D. McCown had $644 in the bank on June 30 while Bartlett had $358,740.

Bartlett and McCown are the only candidates in the congressional race for the seat in Maryland's 6th District, which includes Washington County.

Paul S. Herrnson, a professor in the University of Maryland's department of government and politics and author of "Congressional Elections," described the match-up as "a classical one-sided contest."

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Bartlett's report showed he received $40,327 - or about 82 percent of total contributions for the first six months of 1998 - from individuals.

He received $7,500 from special interests, or political action committees, and $1,070 from the Republican Party during the same period.

Of the PAC money, at least $4,500 came from groups representing the defense industry.

Bartlett is a member of the House National Security Committee, where he is on the research and development subcommittee.

"I'm a big supporter of the military - it's still a very dangerous world," said Bartlett, 72, of Frederick, Md., in support of the defense industry contributions.

McCown, 48, a self-employed drug and alcohol counselor, said he didn't think fund raising would be as difficult as it is.

"I need to find a way to get money or attention," he said.

He said he "wanted to be creative and run a different campaign."

McCown said he based his initial fund-raising strategy on trying to get as little as $10 from each person who voted Democratic in the last election.

In 1996, Democratic challenger Stephen Crawford received 96,592 votes to Bartlett's 127,415.

Of the $644 McCown reported raising, at least $560 came from individuals, his report showed. It was not clear where the remainder came from. He said he made a pledge to not take any special-interest money during his campaign.

McCown said he plans to walk across the district in late September to raise awareness of his campaign.

Bartlett said he plans to continue with business as usual.

"When you have an opponent, you're always concerned," Bartlett said. "But I don't change my behavior during election years."

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