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Bruchey leads in contributions

May 10, 2001

Bruchey leads in contributions



BY DAN KULIN

dank@herald-mail.com

With Hagerstown's city election less than a week away, Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II leads all candidates in money raised and spent on their campaigns.

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Also, Bruchey has more money left in his campaign bank account than any other candidate has raised, according to campaign finance records at the Washington County Election Board.

Bruchey, a Republican, received almost $10,600 in cash and in-kind contributions, including several donations from companies associated with past and prospective developments, according to records filed by Bruchey's campaign.

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The mayor's total receipts were more than double the almost $4,300 raised by City Councilman William M. Breichner, the Democratic candidate for mayor.

Contributions to Breichner included $1,300 from himself and $50 donations from two Republican politicians, state Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, and former Washington County Commissioner John S. Shank, no relation.

Bruchey has spent roughly $5,600 on his campaign and has almost $5,000 left in his campaign bank account.

Republican council candidate Carol N. Moller's campaign listed $3,700 in spending, making her the second highest spender. Moller's expenditures include almost $2,000 to repay a loan Moller made to her campaign. Moller said she used her own money early in the campaign to buy signs and brochures.

In general, candidates spent most of their money on printing and advertising.

Bruchey's expenses include almost $2,400 in in-kind contributions, most of which were donated services from people who helped with Bruchey's radio and television commercials. In-kind contributions are donations other than cash, such as services or materials given to a campaign.

Eight of the twelve candidates for mayor or council filed campaign finance reports with the Election Board. City candidates are required to file campaign finance disclosure documents with the Election Board if they raise or spend more than $1,000.

The latest reports filed with the Election Board by May 4, show campaign activity through April 29. Candidates must file a post-election finance report by June 5.

Hagerstown voters go to the polls Tuesday to choose a mayor and five council members. Hagerstown's mayor is paid $28,000 a year. Council members are paid $8,000 annually.

Bruchey said receiving more money than any other candidate "shows the confidence people have in me as mayor."

Bruchey's campaign received $2,000 from Petrie Ventures Inc. in Annapolis, and $500 from Dorsky Hodgson Partners in Cleveland. Bruchey said both were both involved with building the Centre at Hagerstown shopping plaza.

Marc Silverman, the Rockville, Md., developer who wants to build a new office building in downtown Hagerstown, donated $1,000 to Bruchey's re-election campaign.

"It shows they have confidence in my ability to move this city forward economically," Bruchey said.

Bruchey said he plans to spend the money left in his campaign account before Tuesday's election, but he wouldn't say how.

Breichner said he's running television commercials and sending a mass mailing in the final days of the campaign.

Breichner has raised almost $4,300, spent about $1,900, and has roughly $2,400 in his campaign bank account.

"I don't think how much money you get is the telltale of whether someone's ahead or behind (in the race). It's how you use it," Breichner said.

Breichner said he was not surprised to receive financial backing from some Republicans.

"Local government is not a Democrat vs. Republican issue. I've always had bipartisan support," he said.

Delegate Shank said he supported Breichner because they are friends.

"I have a lots of Democrats who contribute to me over the years. ... I'm not making any endorsements. But on a personal level I'd rather work with Bill as mayor of Hagerstown," Shank said.

Bruchey said, "I would tend to think those in elected office should show allegiance to their party. ... But Chris (Shank) is an individual and he can do what he wants."

Bruchey and Breichner both received $500 contributions from Richard McCleary of Williamsport, who owns three buildings in downtown Hagerstown.

McCleary could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

Council candidate Moller said she wasn't trying to outspend her fellow council candidates, she was just trying to reach as many voters as she could.

Moller has spent almost $3,700, including the loan repayment, and has about $420 left.

Democratic council candidate N. Linn Hendershot raised just over $3,800, including contributions from California and Florida.

Furman Films in Venice Calif., which gave Hendershot $500, is owned by his cousin's husband.

Two $500 contributions from Daytona Beach, Fla., were from Hendershot's former bosses, NASCAR owners William C. and James C. France.

Hendershot has spent about $1,800, and has more than $2,000 in his campaign account.

He said he'll use the remaining funds to pay for television and newspaper ads.

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