Public Financing For Elections May Cost Millions

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Montgomery County officials estimate that the county’s 2010 Democratic primary might have cost as much as $9.6 million if a proposed public campaign financing system was in place.

The Washington Post reports that Finance Director Joseph Beach discussed the estimate related to a bill that would leverage individual contributions of up to $150 with matching funds at a council hearing this week. Beach says the high-end estimate assumes all eligible candidates opt in and receive maximum matching funds. He says the 2006 primary could have cost up to $13 million.

The bill was proposed by councilman and county executive candidate Phil Andrews, who says he wants to attract more small donors and help candidates with limited resources. Andrews said Thursday that $8 million per four-year election cycle is more realistic.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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