Wide-ranging fundraising totals in county council races
By Sophie Gorman Oriani
Campaign finance reports are in for the Prince George’s county council races. Incumbent Calvin Hawkins, the current chair of the county council, raised over $110,000, more than twice the combined total raised by the six other candidates for the two at-large county council seats.
Below, you’ll find campaign contributions reported in the two pre-primary reports, filed by county council candidates representing the regions where Streetcar Suburbs Publishing, Inc. distributes our newspapers. Most contributions were made between Jan. 13 and July 3 (exceptions are noted).
You’ll also find notes on the approximate sizes of candidates’ war chests at the beginning of the year, based on the annual reports for the period ending Jan. 12, 2021.
Not sure which district you’re in? Hyattsville is in District 2. College Park is mostly in District 3, with a small part in District 1. Laurel is in District 1.
Tom Dernoga, who is running unopposed, reported $7,830 in contributions, including a $1,500 contribution from the Liuna Baltimore Washington Construction Public Employees Laborers PAC, and $1,500 from the Maryland Realtors PAC. At the start of the year, he had $60,000, including $22,000 of contributions made the prior year.
Wanika Fisher reported $20,657.22 in contributions from individuals and corporations. She also reported an additional $3,550 from two federal political action committees (PACs), including $3,000 from the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Committee on Political Education (ATU COPE), which is the largest transit worker PAC in the U.S., according to its website. Fisher also received $8,550 in transfers from other campaign finance entities, including $1200 from the Friends of Stanford Fraser. She also reported $14,200 in contributions from Maryland PACs, including $6,000 from the Prince George’s County Professional Fire Fighters Association PAC and $3,500 from the Maryland Realtors PAC. At the beginning of the year, Fisher had $112,000, including $55,000 in contributions made the prior year.
Victor Ramirez reported $40,724 in contributions, including one contribution from an organization called Friends of Jimmy Tarlau. Tarlau is a former state delegate from Mount Rainier. Ramirez also received $5,200 in transfers from campaign entities, including $5,000 from the Friends of Jolene Ivey. Ramirez had a $120,000 balance at the beginning of the year, what remained of $141,000 in contributions.
Raymond Nevo reported $17,868 in contributions. His first report showed a higher number of recurring monthly donations than his two competitors, as well as a much higher percentage of out-of-state donors. His contributions are divided, with roughly one-third each of the total amount raised coming from Nevo himself, Maryland residents, and donors with addresses outside of Maryland. Nevo had $13,000 at the start of the year, what remained of $21,000 in contributions.
Sia Finoh filed an affidavit on June 14th stating that she had not received or spent more than $1,000 since the prior campaign finance report. At the start of the year, her campaign had $3,000, what remained of $15,500 in contributions.
Eric Olson reported $38,840 in contributions from individuals and corporations, including $6,000 from the Baltimore Washington Construction and Public Employees Laborers PAC, $4,000 from McGeo UFCW Local 1994 Active Ballot PAC, $3,000 from the Maryland Realtors PAC, and $3,000 from the voluntary account of ATU COPE. Olson also reported an additional $3,000 from Remedy PAC in the section for federal committees, as well as $6,000 from the Friends of Ben Barnes. Olsen’s campaign started off the year with $52,000, including $18,00 in contributions from the prior year.
Eve Shuman reported $38,581.24 in contributions from individuals and corporations, including $6,000 from the Prince George’s County Professional Firefighters & Paramedics Association and $1,000 from the Fraternal Order of Police, Prince George’s County Lodge. Shuman also reported $1,146 from the Prince George’s Property Owners Association, Inc. PAC. Shuman’s first report showed more out-of-state donors than Olson, including 14 out-of-state donors who contributed less than $5 each. Shuman started out the year with $58,000 in campaign funds, including $88,000 in contributions.
At-large county council seats
Rudy Anthony, whose first report covers the time period from Nov. 4 to June 7, reported $7,944 in contributions, including over $1,000 from county executive hopeful Leigh Bodden. Anthony also reported $950 from ticket purchases. He did not file a second report.
Mel Franklin filed a first report showing $6,875 in contributions. His largest donor was the Maryland Transportation Builders & Materials Association, which contributed $6,000. Franklin did not file a second report. He started out the year with a $104,000 fund balance, including $71,000 in contributions from the prior year.
Calvin Hawkins reported $113,200 in contributions, with many donors who gave over $5,000. His largest donor, Daniel Carrillo, who shares an address with a real estate professional, gave $10,000. The Fraternal Order of Police, Prince George’s County contributed $8,000. Anthony Wash, of the electrical firm A Wash & Associates, and an LLC named AWA Holdings, which share an address in D.C., each also contributed $6,000. Michael Sakata, the President and CEO at Maryland Transportation Builders & Materials Association, gave $6,000. Raul Gallinate, of Delmarva Site Development, Inc., contributed $5,000. Hawkins started out the year with $67,000, what remained of $114,000 in contributions.
Stanford Fraser reported $20,459.10 in contributions, including a $3,000 contribution from ATU COPE, and $1,500 from the Baltimore Washington Construction & Public Employees Laborers PAC. Fraser started out the year with a $46,00 balance, what remained of $57,600 in contributions.
Leo Eyombo , whose reports cover the time period from April 22 to July 3, reported $5,025 in contributions, including $2,100 from himself.
Sam Elira, whose first report covers the time period from April 13 to June 7, reported $802.56 in contributions, about half of which was from out-of-state donors. (His spring report, which covers the period of time from Jan. 20 to April 12, shows $2,281 in contributions, primarily from Maryland residents.) He did not file a second report.
Jonathan White filed an affidavit stating that he had not received or spent more than $1,000 since the prior campaign finance report.
Maryland Matters reported on a super PAC, the Jobs 1st PAC, which has raised about $90,000, largely from developers. Super PACs cannot donate money directly to candidates, but can spend money advocating for or against people or positions. According to the article, the Jobs 1st PAC has spent about two-thirds of what it has raised on polls and mailings in support of a variety of political candidates, including incumbents Mel Franklin, Calvin Hawkins, and Tom Dernoga. Dernoga denounced the PAC in an email. The super PAC also supports Eve Shuman and Wanika Fisher for open seats.