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October 28, 2010

Kratovil-Harris race nears top of spending list

The down-to-the-wire rematch between Frank Kratovil and Andy Harris for Maryland's easternmost congressional seat is now one of the ten most expensive House races in the nation, in terms of spending by outside groups.

With less than a week until Election Day, more than $3.75 million has been pumped into the contest, according to Federal Election Commission figures. The latest cash infusion: $348,000 from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on behalf of Kratovil, the endangered Democratic incumbent.

That brings the DCCC's total investment in Kratovil to nearly $1.5 million. Over the last week, however, the Republican Party's House campaign arm has put even more into the race on behalf of their candidate, Harris.

As residents of the district know all too well, virtually all of those dollars have been used to pay for attack ads on TV and radio.

According to the non-partisan Sunlight Foundation, the Maryland contest has attracted the ninth largest amount of outside spending among 435 House districts across the country.

Nationwide, total outside spending in the 2010 midterm elections for the House and Senate now tops $400 million, Sunlight reported.

A recent Sun poll showed the Kratovil-Harris race dead even.

The money from the national parties and outside groups is in addition to dollars raised and spent by the candidates themselves.

Kratovil had collected over $2.3 million and Harris picked up a total of more than $2 million as of mid-October, FEC figures show. And the money chase isn't over yet.

Vice President Joe Biden will help fatten Kratovil's account today, when he headlines a fundraiser in Bethesda for the Eastern Shore congressman.

The race in the First District, which spans the Chesapeake Bay to take in portions of Baltimore, Anne Arundel and Harford counties and the entire Eastern Shore, is already among the most expensive House contests in Maryland history. Total spending has already topped $8 million and could go significantly higher before the final numbers are reported.

Posted by Paul West at 5:01 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Candidate Watch 2010


"A recent Sun poll showed the Kratovil-Harris race dead even."

AND a competing poll in the field at the same time as the Sun poll revealed Andy Harris to be leading Frank Kratovil by11% (see

The Sun has routinely failed to mention this independent poll (the Sun's poll was conducted by a firm whose principals are registered to vote as Democrats in Maryland).

Regardless of which poll one chooses to review, one fact remains consistent: Frank Kratovil can't get above 40% in his re-elect number.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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