In Baltimore congressional race, the top female candidates have reported their personal finances. The major male candidates haven’t.
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In the Democratic primary race to replace the late Elijah Cummings representing Maryland’s 7th District in Congress, there’s a gender dividing line.
Leading women candidates ― including former Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, state Sen. Jill P. Carter and state Del. Terri L. Hill ― have filed their legally required financial disclosure forms with the clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives. Dentist Leslie E. Grant also has filed her form.
By contrast, every major male candidate ― including former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume and state delegates Talmadge Branch and Jay Jalisi ― has not. Also failing to file their financial disclosure forms were law professor F. Michael Higginbotham, community activist Saafir Rabb and longtime Cummings staff member Harry Spikes.
Rockeymoore Cummings said Friday it’s important voters get to see the candidates’ financial interests before casting their ballots Feb. 4.
“I’m committed to working as hard as Elijah did and being as transparent as Elijah was. That is the only way to truly build on his legacy. Transparency is the key to good governance,” she said.
Carter said it didn’t surprise her “that only the women have done the filings.”
“Women pay attention to details. It’s more reason why we need a woman in the congressional delegation,” she said.
A spokesman for Mfume said he was looking into the matter. Other campaigns did not immediately provide an explanation for why they hadn’t completed the forms.
Maryland’s congressional delegation is currently made up of nine men, seven members of the House of Representatives and two senators.
Congressional candidates are required to file a personal financial disclosure form after they raise or spend at least $5,000 for their campaigns, and no later than 30 days before an election. The forms include disclosure of income from their jobs, which stocks and rental properties they own, who pays them to give speeches and other financial information.
This week, each of the leading campaigns posted fundraising totals of greater than $5,000, meaning they should have already filed disclosure forms. The two candidates with the most money, Mfume and Higginbotham each reported having more than $200,000 for the closing days of the campaign.
Rockeymoore Cummings disclosed her ownership of Global Policy Solutions LLC and two rental properties. She is also paid $15,000 to serve on the board of the National Association of Counties Financial Services Corporation and she delivers paid speeches.
Carter listed her $50,000 salary has a state legislator and $30,000 she is paid to represent indigent legal clients for the state.
Hill listed her $50,000 salary as a state legislator, her medical practice and numerous stocks.
After the special primary, a special general election will be held April 28 in the district, which includes parts of Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Howard County. April 28 is also the date of the regular U.S. House primary. Candidates who want to win a full, two-year term representing the 7th District must run in that race, as well.