The First Maryland Candidate in Decades to Publicly Finance Their Campaign

July 10, 2014

The Republican nominee for Maryland governor, Larry Hogan, has become the first candidate in 20 years to participate in the state’s public financing system in the fall election, a move likely to leave his campaign with far less money to spend than his Democratic opponent.

Hogan will receive a grant of about $2.6 million from the state, and his campaign will not be allowed to spend more than that on the race, election officials said Wednesday. The decision cements Hogan’s financial disadvantage in the race against Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown, who spent about $9 million this year to win the Democratic primary and has started to replenish his war chest.

Hogan spokesman Adam Dubitsky sought to cast the decision Wednesday as a reflection of the candidate’s “grass-roots” campaign and an antidote to “entrenched incumbent machines” such as the Brown operation. Dubitsky acknowledged the financial disadvantage, however, even as he expressed confidence that Hogan will have enough money to win.

“While nothing will stop the millions in special-interest money pouring into Anthony Brown’s war chest, these funds and our large grass-roots organization enable us to mount an aggressive challenge to one-party rule in Maryland,” Dubitsky said.

Others cast the decision more pointedly as indicative of Hogan’s disadvantage in heavily Democratic Maryland.

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