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Candidates' funds listed

Myers has campaign cash, Taylor has more

Myers has campaign cash, Taylor has more

August 16, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Political newcomer LeRoy Myers has raised $55,725 so far in his bid for the Maryland House of Delegates, according to his recently filed campaign finance report.

It's a respectable sum compared to most other Washington County candidates. It's on a par with the $51,000 that 28-year veteran Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, has raised since the last election four years ago.

But Myers' general election opponent, House Speaker Casper R. Taylor Jr., has collected about four times that much since November and still has $234,065 in his campaign war chest.

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Myers, a Republican, and Taylor, a Democrat, are running unopposed in their parties' primaries.

"This is much more of a challenge than I ever expected," said Myers, a Republican who was pitted against Taylor because of the once-a-decade legislative redistricting process.

David Paulson, spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party, said he believes Myers is prepared to spend whatever it takes, using his own money to win the seat.

"I don't think it's any secret he wants to buy a House of Delegates seat," Paulson said.

The Clear Spring building contractor denied that, saying he plans to raise $25,000 more to run an effective campaign against Taylor for District 1C, which stretches from Cumberland to the Conococheague Creek.

Myers loaned himself $2,000 to get his campaign off the ground, Campaign Manager Corey Stottlemyer said. Nearly all of his contributions have come from people and businesses in Western Maryland.

Taylor, on the other hand, received less than one-fifth of his donations from the region, according to campaign finance records. Businesses and political action committees from other parts of Maryland made up the bulk of his contributions.

"That, to me, speaks volumes about who LeRoy Myers will be beholden to and who Cas Taylor is beholden to," said Paul Ellington, executive director of the Maryland Republican Party. "Our candidate is supported by the people in his district."

Taylor, of Allegany County, said he found Ellington's statement hypocritical considering the likely Republican candidate for governor, Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., has raised money from all over the country.

Paulson said Taylor is a statewide leader who makes decisions that affect the rest of the state.

Taylor said his campaign fund is unique because he uses it to help other Maryland Democrats get elected. For instance, the report shows he gave Del. Sue Hecht $4,000 in her bid to unseat Republican Alex X. Mooney, R-Frederick/Washington.

The report shows that Taylor returned a $1,000 donation from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund in Fairfax, Va., in April.

Taylor said he had to give back the money to prevent the group from exceeding the legal donation limit, which is $4,000 per four-year term.

Reports covering campaign contributions and expenses from Nov. 2, 2001, through Aug. 6 were due Tuesday.

Eventually, reports for all candidates should be available on the Maryland State Board of Elections Web site, www.electionsmaryland.com.

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