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Curran's Currency

As annual campaign finance reports roll in today, most of the attention is on the big money, governor's race. But the reports offer some hints as to what's going to happen in some other contests, as well.

Consider the attorney general's race.

Five-term incumbent J. Joseph Curran has not raised a penny in the past year. He said he has $26,175 on hand.

Montgomery County State's Attorney Doug Gansler, on the other hand, has more than $1.4 million in the bank. And Montgomery County council member Tom Perez, who has said he will run only if Curran does not, said he will report having raised $210,000.

The numbers leave a lot of Democrats clucking that Curran will not run again.

Curran, for his part, says in an interview he's not concentrating yet on the campaign--or his fellow Democrats.

"I'm concentrating entirely on the session and several bills we have a keen interest in. That's really what I'm focused on. The whole history of fundraising in my case has always been activity in the months before the election. I've always waited until the last several months.

"If I run again, it's going to be raising money in the final few months. I've always tried to raise a very modest amount anyway--$200,000 has always been sufficient to meet the needs that I have."

Asked whether Gansler's $1.4 million would change that equation, he said:

"Not really. My reputation, experience, integrity, familiarity with voters is what I'm counting on. Someone like Louis Goldstein or Don Schaefer, I don't know that they even had to raise money at all. Money can just do so much. I'm concentrating on the session."

But is this fair to Tom Perez--or anyone other candidates who may be waiting for word from Curran before deciding whether to run? Prince George's State's Attorney Glenn Ivey, for instance, considered the statewide office before announcing he would seek re-election for the prosecutor's post.

"I know Tom," Curran said. "He's a fine person. I know Doug [Gansler], he's a fine person. I know Glenn, he's a fine person. But I'm going to wait till after I get into the session and see how our bills are doing before I decide whether I'm going to go."

Matt Mosk

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 18, 2006; 11:58 AM ET
 
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