GOP comptroller candidate told there's no money to help him
Campbell: State party says it can give his campaign in-kind contributions
William H. Campbell has hopes of becoming Maryland's first Republican comptroller since 1897, but he'll have to do it without financial backing from the party.
"I know this is going to come back to haunt me, but they said they can't give me anything," Campbell said Monday.
On Thursday afternoon, Campbell, who two days earlier had defeated two opponents in the Republican primary, met with state GOP officials to discuss the support he could receive from the party.
The answer was that the state party would be able to help through in-kind contributions at field offices, but there was no money in the coffers to contribute to his uphill battle to oust Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D), Campbell said.
"I'm not complaining," said Campbell, who has an extensive background as a chief financial officer. "I'm disappointed, but I'm not complaining. I'll just have to work around this funding issue. But I'm not going to give up."
"He'll have our full support," said state GOP spokesman Ryan Mahoney, adding that the in-kind contributions and the field offices and volunteers assembled by the state GOP were valuable.
Campbell, who is running his first-ever campaign, had raised about $14,000 in the primary race.
In the 2006 election, the state GOP provided about $4,000 to the campaign of Republican comptroller candidate Anne McCarthy, Campbell said.
Fundraising for his race and for other candidates is a tough challenge this election cycle, Campbell said.
Franchot was unopposed in the Democratic primary. Franchot defeated incumbent William Donald Schaefer (D) in the Democratic primary in 2006 and went on to win the general election handily. Franchot has about $454,000 on hand in his campaign fund as of Sept. 3.
Franchot has promoted investment of state pension funds with businesses working in life sciences in the state to help create high-paying jobs and spur growth, as well as upgrading tax-collection technology to bring in additional revenue to the state, said his campaign manager Andrew Friedson.
Campbell said his experience as a chief financial officer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Coast Guard and Amtrak make him the most qualified candidate for the job.
Campbell is spending much of his campaign time in educating Republican voters on the importance of the comptroller's job not only in collecting taxes, but in serving on the Board of Public Works with the governor and state treasurer. The board oversees state contracts and the state budget when the 90-day legislature is not in session.
"If you have two of the three votes on the board, then you can accomplish something," Campbell said. "Most people don't understand this is the second-most-important vote they're going to cast."
Franchot's campaign said his independence on the Board of Public Works, where Franchot has been known to clash with O'Malley, is one reason why he should be re-elected.
"Over the past four years, Comptroller Franchot has been independent and a watchdog," Friedson said.