On Tuesday, Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin—a professor at American University and the husband of deputy treasury secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin—won Maryland’s 8th Congressional District Democratic primary, triumphing over both a former corporate executive married to a national television anchor, and a self-funding millionaire businessman. It was an expensive loss for them both.
Initially, the Washington Post recalls, Silver Spring’s gilded primary, which includes affluent suburbs north of Washington, D.C., looked to be a race between Raskin and Kathleen Matthews, theformer television anchor and Marriott International executive who is married to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews. That expectation was upset when Democratic fundraiser and philanthropist David Trone, who owns a national chain of liquor stores, entered the race shortly before the February 3 deadline.
The millionaire businessman quickly made up for lost time: “I’ve spent $9.1 million to date on my campaign. Campaigns shouldn’t be this expensive,” Trone wrote in an ad he placed in the Post. “But they are, especially when you’re a big underdog in a fragmented media market.” (Other candidates included Will Jawondo, a former White House staffer who “has just about the perfect pedigree for an aspiring young politician.”)
According to a Baltimore Sun report from earlier this month, the candidates in the Democratic primary spent more than $14 million on the election, making it the most expensive House race in the nation—even without the $9.9 million Trone had spent by that point. In the weeks following that analysis, FEC filings show, Trone dropped another $2.7 million, bringing his total to $12.7 million.
Matthews, meanwhile, raised more than $2.5 million, including a $500,000 loan to her own campaign. Raskin’s no slouch, either: He raised more than $1.8 million, though he only spent $2,000 on himself. According to financial disclosure reports, Raskin and his wife list assets worth up to $6.8 million.
Unfortunately, Chris Matthews wasn’t on air last night to call his wife’s loss. Fellow MSNBC anchor Brian Williams told viewers that Matthews was off “attending to family business,” the nature of which was not explained.