This week, the Anne Arundel County Council passed Bill 25-23. Introduced by Council Chair Pete Smith on behalf of County Executive Steuart Pittman, this bill will create a Public Campaign Financing Fund for county executive and county council candidates.
The program requires participating candidates only accept contributions of $250 or less. Eligible donations will then receive matching funds through the program, with the smallest contributions matched at the highest rate.
To qualify for the program, candidates for county executive need at least 500 individual contributions of $250 or less and a total of $40,000 in campaign contributions. County Council candidates need at least 75 individual contributions of $250 or less and no less than $7,500 in campaign contributions.
Eligible contributions will then receive matching funds through the program, with the smallest contributions matched at the highest rate. County executive candidates can receive up to $750,000 in public contributions per election cycle, based on how much they raise in donations, while council candidates are eligible for up to $125,000.
State law authorizes counties to establish a public campaign financing system. Like similar systems adopted by Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, and the State of Maryland, Bill 25-23 aims to reduce significant private contributions and encourage individual small donor donations.