In the crowded race for three Delegate seats in District 16, recently released finance reports show three of the eight candidates boast war chests of greater than $100,000.
The others have substantially less — the candidate in distant fourth has just over $30,000.
Marc Korman, Hrant Jamgochian and Ariana Kelly are all Democrats running to represent the district that encompasses Bethesda, Cabin John, Glen Echo and parts of Chevy Chase, Potomac and Rockville — and all have more than $100,000 in their coffers, according to campaign finance reports released earlier this month and available at the Maryland State Board of Elections.
But money isn’t everything, said candidate Jordan Cooper of Bethesda, a technology integration specialist with Kaiser Permanente who reported $22,204.
“It’s not money that will determine how this election is won,” Cooper said. “It’s direct voter contact.”
And Cooper said he has been making that contact by canvassing neighborhoods throughout the county since Memorial Day of 2013.
“I personally knocked on 6,000 doors in District 16,” Cooper said.
His campaign does not need as much money as others do, Cooper said, as his campaign manager and other staff are working for free.
Other candidates plan to use their funds to hire full-time staff.
Jamgochian, for example, whose coffers top out at $116,698, recently brought in two full-time workers — a field organizer, Harrison Keller, and a campaign coordinator, Tim Hernandez. Both will start Feb. 1, Jamgochian said.
The Bethesda attorney and health care advocate said he was “humbled by the strong grass-roots support.” More than half of his money came in the form of individual donations.
Korman, whose cash count of $120,791, $75,930 of which were individual donations, is second only to incumbent Del. Kelly’s reported $122,964. Korman also just hired a new staffer, Noah Wasserman, who recently served as operations director on Rep. Rush Holt’s campaign for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, and will take care of the logistical details of Korman’s campaign, he said. “I feel really good,” Korman said. “I’ve been knocking on doors since June every Saturday and Sunday.”
Kevin Walling, who helped lobby in Annapolis to legalize gay marriage in Maryland, reported having $30,653 and Gareth Murray, who served in the House of Delegates in 2002, reported $2,414, according to state records.
Three other candidates — Democrat Karen Kuker-Kihl and Republicans Rose Li and Meyer Marks — have not filed any financial reports with the Maryland State Board of Elections.
District 16 is now represented by Sen. Brian Frosh and Dels. Bill Frick, Ariana Kelly and Susan Lee. All four are Democrats. Kelly is planning to run again, Frick will fight it out for attorney general with Frosh, and Lee is running for Frosh’s Senate seat.
The primary will be held June 24 and the general election Nov. 4.