Maryland citizens are running to elect a new State Attorney general, with democratic party struggling to find a consensus candidate among the current crop.
Although Retired Judge Katie Curran O’Malley (D) remains a frontrunner, worries that her promotion to State Attorney general might cause many democratic counties in Maryland to cower down in fear. In return, this might cause issues to disintegrate and trigger many problems for the state of Maryland clouding her prospects due to past ties with Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D) who was Deputy Governor to her husband.
Much is at stake. The Maryland State Attorney is elected by the people every four years with no term limits. The State Attorney General has considerable power – including being the chief legal officer of the State. The Attorney General’s Office has general charge, supervision and direction of the legal business of the State, acting as legal advisors and representatives of the major agencies, various boards, commissions, officials and institutions of State Government.
Due to close working relationship with the current players, a third candidate not tied to them is encouraged to run either as a democratic party representative or as an independent. This is due to past public corruption which continues to this day in prince George’s county, Maryland and elsewhere which emanated during their time in office as officers. Maryland in general is currently a blue state.
At the moment, the current two Democrats vying for the open seat are just a few dollars apart when it comes to the size of their campaign war chests.
On the other hand, former prosecutor James F. Shalleck — the only Republican to enter the race for attorney general thus far — has reported just a trickle of donations.
U.S. Rep. Anthony G. Brown (D) reported having $617,520 on hand Wednesday, after raising $647,000 over the previous year.
“I’m honored to have the support of Marylanders across our state and excited to report that the momentum behind our campaign is growing,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “We’re ready to deliver on the promise of progress for our state.”
But Catherine Curran O’Malley (D), a retired Baltimore City District Court judge and Maryland’s former first lady, is giving Brown a run for his money.
O’Malley raised $630,217.22 between Nov. 8, 2021, three weeks before she formally entered the race for attorney general, and Jan. 12.
So far, she has spent $13,934, leaving her with $616,282 on-hand — just $1,237 less than Brown, who served as lieutenant governor during her husband Gov. Martin O’Malley’s tenure.
“The strong support I have received for my campaign from across Maryland shows that people want an Attorney General who will both protect Maryland families from crime and predatory behavior and will fight to reform our criminal justice system so every Marylander can get equal justice,” O’Malley said in a statement Wednesday evening. “I have the experience needed to do that job on day one.”
Brown’s campaign fundraising picture is complicated by the fact that he has had a state fundraising committee open for years, even though he also has had a federal campaign committee open since he first ran for Congress in 2016, two years after losing a race for governor. It appears as if his state campaign committee has largely remained open as a vehicle to repay loans Brown made to his gubernatorial campaign.
In his latest campaign finance statement, Brown reported that he is still carrying $220,859 in debt, after repaying himself $8,665 over the past year. The finance report suggests that Brown has raised about $480,000 since he became a candidate for attorney general, less than O’Malley raised over the same period.
Brown’s state campaign committee took in about $160,000 in the months before he became a candidate.
Brown’s federal campaign committee has $1.48 million, which would become available to him during the general election, his campaign said Wednesday.
Brown — who announced his candidacy just days after Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D) said he wouldn’t be seeking a third term — has amassed some significant endorsements in his bid for attorney general, including U.S. House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D), State Treasurer Dereck E. Davis (D), Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Chair William C. Smith Jr. (D-Montgomery), Prince George’s County Executive Angela D. Alsobrooks (D), Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) and Baltimore City Council President Nick J. Mosby (D).
Brown’s state campaign committee reported $27,499 in contributions from federal political action committees, including donations from half a dozen of his congressional colleagues. Alsobrooks ($3,000), Davis ($1,500) and Prince George’s County Councilmember Calvin S. Hawkins ($6,000) are also donors.
O’Malley has received endorsements from the national fundraising powerhouse EMILY’s List, former Gov. Parris Glendening (D), state Senate Majority Leader Nancy J. King (D-Montgomery), House Majority Leader Eric G. Luedtke (D-Montgomery) and former Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young (D). Young transferred $500 to her campaign for his state campaign account.
J. Joseph Curran — O’Malley’s father, who spent a record five terms as attorney general — and Martin O’Malley are among donors who maxed out to her campaign, giving $6,000 each.
Shalleck entered the race in July — well before Frosh declared in late October that he would not be seeking a third term.
His campaign committee, Friends of Jim Shalleck, filed his campaign finance report on Jan. 18.
On Jan. 14, 2021, Shalleck, who has run unsuccessfully for Montgomery County executive and Montgomery County state’s attorney, reported a paltry $41.64 on-hand.
Between then and Jan. 12, 2022, he raised $1,903 and spent $676.50, leaving him with a current balance of $1,268.