Incumbent Cecil County Sheriff Barry Janney, while facing two challengers in the Sept. 14 Republican primary, appears to be conserving his considerable campaign funds for a general election race against the winner of the Democratic primary for Sheriff.
Janney raised $21,990 from January through August 10, plus he raised another $25,250 in 2009, for a total of $47,240, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state Board of Elections. Janney also had a carry-over balance from his last election campaign fund of $15,895, giving him a cumulative total of $63,135 available for this year’s election season.
But Janney’s fundraising falls short of the total raised by Democrat Chris Sutton, who raised $27,816 from January until August 10, on top of his 2009 fundraising of $38,313, for a total of $66,129, according to campaign finance reports filed with the state. Sutton is facing a spirited challenge for the Democratic nomination for Sheriff from Robert “Skip” DeWitt. (See Cecil Times report on Sutton here: https://ceciltimes.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/sheriffs-race-sutton-out-fundraises-janney-but-cupboard-is-bare/
Janney’s most prominent challenger in the Republican primary is Dan Slater, who has raised a total of $13,770. But, after expenses, Slater only had $69 in the bank as of August 10, according to state elections reports. (See Cecil Times report on Slater’s fundraising here: https://ceciltimes.wordpress.com/2010/08/27/sheriffs-race-slater-picks-up-the-pace-latecomers-penniless/ )
Despite his GOP primary opposition, Janney has conserved a substantial part of his campaign funds, apparently looking forward to the November general election. Even after spending of $29,530 from January to August 10 and campaign costs of $14,268 in 2009, Janney still had $19,337 cash on hand in the bank as of August 10. (Sutton had just $24 in the bank as of the August 10 closing date of the first pre-primary report filed with the state.) Janney’s largest campaign materials expenses — $9,327– have been for billboards promoting his candidacy, and he has paid in advance to keep billboards up through the general election, the reports show.
In past election campaigns, Janney has raised as much as $100,000, with much of it raised through golf fundraisers. Janney has continued to hold golf fundraising events in this election season, as well as hosting a $100 a ticket seafood buffet at the Wellwood. [He has scheduled another golf fundraiser for Sept. 10, which should yield another boost for his campaign balance.]
Janney had mostly larger donations and ticket purchases, rather than a lot of small contributions, and quite a few of his donors live outside the county or out of state.
His largest individual donor is also his campaign chairman: Harry Hammond, who has contributed a total of $1,679. Janney also received a $2,000 donation from a business, Covenant Cove Marina, in Chesapeake City; $1,000 from Ken Graybeal of North East; $1,000 from Phillip Farmer, of Elkton; $800 from Duane Rhine, of Baltimore; and $500 from Upper Chesapeake Flex One, (related to the Stewart enterprises) of York, Pa.
Businesses associated with Cecil County Commissioner Brian Lockhart, a Democrat, also donated to the Janney campaign. Cecil Bank, where Lockhart is a member of the Board of Directors, donated $600 and Monterey Refuse Services, Inc., of Nottingham, Pa, which Lockhart owns, provided $800. Lockhart personally donated $600 as part of Janney’s September, 2009 golf fundraiser, bringing the total of Lockhart-related donations to $2,000. Lockhart was the chairman of Janney’s past campaigns but gave up that position when he ran for County Commissioner in 2006.
Janney has established a detailed website, www.janneyforsheriff.com , which includes a comprehensive overview of his accomplishments while Sheriff. He cited as a key benchmark the planning for expansion and renovation of the county detention center. Ground was broken for the $31 million project a few days ago. Half of its costs will be paid for by state grants. Janney said the project came out of a planning process he led with his staff, beginning in his first term, to create a long-range master plan for corrections needs through the year 2030.
UPDATE: In an interview with Cecil Times, Janney said he had decided to conserve his campaign funds in anticipation of a general election contest because he did not want to “have to go back to people again and again in these hard economic times.” He said he decided after the last election to continue his tradition of an annual golf fundraiser in the fall as a way to slowly but steadily build his campaign account so that people could give smaller donations over time. He said that after his golf event this month, he expects his campaign will have raised a total of about $70,000.
“We’re all in the same boat,” he said of the economy’s impact on campaign fundraising. “Its hard to ask anyone for money.” He said he had built up name recognition over his career as Sheriff and had been “blessed with a large group of loyal supporters” who have continued to support his campaign despite the economy.
Janney said he felt he had paced his campaign and its fundraising and did not jump into the fray too early. “You can jump out too early and burn yourself out” with the voters, he said.
As to which Democratic candidate in that party’s primary he would prefer to run against, if he wins his own party primary, Janney said: “It doesn’t really matter to me.” He said it would be “up to the people to decide” which candidate has the best experience and qualifications. “We’ve done a lot of good things,” he said of his administration.