Big Money Out

Baltimore County Council passes Fair Election Fund

It’s official. Big money just lost some of its power over Baltimore County’s elections.

On Dec. 21, the Baltimore County Council voted 6-1 in approval of a Fair Election Fund, which allows political candidates to use a small donor program to finance their campaign. The program that was passed included amendments to the original proposal — candidates cannot spend more than $1.4 million per election (or $2.8 million per cycle) and the County Council is capped at spending $150,000 per election.

“In 2026, thanks to the new Baltimore County Fair Election Fund, candidates will be able to run for office without accepting any large or corporate contributions and instead rely on support from small donors in Baltimore County,” said Emily Scarr, state director of Maryland PIRG.

“We expect this new program will expand opportunities to run for office, lower average contributions, and increase participation in local government.”

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Learn more about our Democracy for the People Campaign. 


Photo: This program be better for candidates, for the community and for the local democracy. Credit: Dwight Burdette, CC BY-3.0

Gina Goldenberg

Former Creative Associate, Editorial & Creative Team, The Public Interest Network

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