Political notes: It’s campaign finance day, Oprah counter-programming, a Morella-Edwards alliance, etc.

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Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez (D) and his running mate in the 2022 gubernatorial election, Shannon Sneed (D), attend a press conference calling on the governor to keep Western Hospital Center open in Hagerstown and the Deer’s Head Hospital Facility in Salisbury. Photo by Hannah Gaskill.

While the latest campaign finance statements from state and local candidates are due to be submitted to the Maryland State Board of Elections by midnight Tuesday, bragging rights campaigns are beginning to release their numbers ahead of official filings.

Tom Perez, a leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, said Monday night that he plans to bring in $1.1 million in cash for the final push before the July 19 primary. The campaign said it raised more than $1.5 million between mid-January and last week, and brought in about $4 million in total.

That’s less than the other top contender, Wes Moore: Moore’s campaign said last week that he would report adding $2.5 million to his war chest since mid-January. That would bring the total amassed by Moore and his running mate, the former Del. Aruna Miller (D-Montgomery), at $7.3 million in total. The campaign said it had $2.1 million.

Despite Moore’s financial advantage, the Perez campaign called his fundraising — the combined take on Perez and his running mate, former Baltimore City Councilman Shannon Sneed (D) — “competitive.”

“We continue to build a strong, diverse and rapidly growing coalition that shares our inclusive vision to bring jobs, justice and opportunity to every Marylander,” Perez said in a statement. “I am very grateful for the generous support of all who believe in us, including the unprecedented support of workers and working families, who trust in my long career in public service, working to expand opportunity and promote justice, and deliver for the people of Maryland.”

Labor’s support for Perez was particularly evident in campaign finance reports recently filed by a political action committee working to support his candidacy called Maryland Opportunity Inc. – and spending just under $600,000 on TV ads on the Baltimore Media Market.

AFSCME’s Washington, DC-based Working Families Fund donated $250,000 to PAC and AFSCME Council 3 in Baltimore donated $200,000. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC also donated $250,000. A union of plumbers and pipefitters donated $250,000 and the Amalgamated Transportation Union donated $200,000.

The Perez Campaign and Maryland Opportunity Inc. are not permitted by law to coordinate their activities.

Check back with Maryland Matters for full campaign finance coverage throughout the week.

The Oprah Contest

As political professionals and journalists comb through a myriad of campaign finance reports on Tuesday night, Moore will replenish her war chest during a virtual fundraiser with the incomparable Oprah Winfrey.

Television history is littered with programs that attempted to rival Winfrey’s ratings juggernaut for a talk show. But a rival to Moore for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination is trying his own counterprogramming.

Around the same time, Moore and Winfrey will have a conversation about “leadership and the challenges facing families in Maryland,” in the words of the campaign, former U.S. Education Secretary John King and his running mate , Executive Director of the Women’s Law Center of Maryland Michelle Siri is hosting a virtual town hall on protecting women’s rights in the post-Roe era. The King campaign said the town hall will focus on what can be done at the state and federal levels to protect and expand access to abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court, as expected, strikes down protections in the 49-year-old Roe vs. Wade case. decision.

Heather Mizeur, the former state legislator who is running for Congress in the 1st District, and Salisbury Alderman Michele Gregory, who is seeking a state Senate seat on the Lower Coast, will join King and Siri . The conversation will be moderated by Lily Bolourian, executive director of Pro-Choice Maryland Action, the abortion rights group that endorsed King for governor.

On Tuesday, the King campaign also touted a new endorsement: from progressive advocacy group Our Revolution Maryland. The endorsement is the latest in a recent streak for the campaign, which also includes last week’s endorsement from the Sierra Club.

Ride with Jon and Natalie

Jon Baron, another Democratic gubernatorial candidate, began airing his first full-fledged TV ad on Monday — and it mostly features footage of him and his running mate, Natalie Williams, on a tandem bicycle.

The ad opens with them trying to ride their bikes in front of a green screen. But then Baron, who has used humor in his digital ads, sees that it doesn’t really work. It’s a metaphor for well-meaning policy prescriptions that don’t work — a central part of Baron’s argument that he will bring tried-and-tested solutions to the governor’s office. It was only after making some modifications to the bike that Baron and Williams could go out on the road.

Baron’s campaign ad said she made six-figure buys across broadcast, cable, YouTube, connected TV, OTT and digital platforms in the Baltimore and Washington media markets, DC. Baron’s campaign manager Pablo Roa has suggested more are to come.

“As this week’s campaign finance report will show, we have the cash to compete with better-known candidates in this critical home stretch – and we have the message to beat them,” he said. -he declares. “This first ad buy will allow us to share this message with hundreds of thousands of voters across the state.”

Rutherford preaches Schulz

Hardly surprising, but still worth noting: Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford (right) has endorsed former Commerce Secretary Kelly Schulz as governor.

The two held high-level positions in the Hogan administration together for seven years, which is why the endorsement comes as no surprise. But with Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) nominated, Rutherford considered running to succeed him. It wasn’t until he decided against it, in April 2021, that Schulz declared his candidacy.

Rutherford announced his preference for Schulz to the congregation at Huber Memorial Church in Baltimore City on Sunday.

“She has been a valued member of the Hogan administration, and she has the experience and wisdom to continue the work of changing Maryland for the better,” Rutherford said.

As has become typical with the Schulz campaign, the media was not made aware of Rutherford’s endorsement. A video was provided a day after the fact.

Morella backs another Democrat

Former U.S. Representatives Connie Morella (R-Md.) and Donna Edwards (D-Md.) have never served in Congress together. Morella had been out of office for more than five years by the time Edwards arrived on Capitol Hill in 2008.

But now Morella, one of the last truly moderate Republicans to be elected in Maryland, has thrown her support behind Edwards as Edwards tries to get back to her old job. In statements provided by the Edwards campaign, the two former lawmakers called themselves trailblazers.

“I have known Donna for over 25 years in our work together to protect women and children from violence,” Morella said. “In recent years, we have partnered with our work on women’s health and building women’s leadership. Donna is a person of character, integrity and perseverance. I am proud to stand with him in this election. She is a champion for women and families and women’s reproductive health care – she knows who she is fighting for in Washington.

Edwards is competing against former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey and former State Del. Angela Angel in the Democratic Primary for the 4th District.

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