Kathleen Matthews announces her run as a candidate to seek the Democratic nomination to represent Maryland’s 8th Congressional District at the Silver Spring Metro station in Silver Spring, Md on June 3, 2015.
Bill Clark—AP
Updated: March 14, 2016 2:35 PM ET | Originally published: March 14, 2016 12:44 PM EDT

Wrapped around D.C.’s northern tip and barely a precious stone’s throw from the U.S. Capitol, Maryland’s 8th Congressional District is one of the nation’s wealthiest: Census Bureau figures show its residents have a median household income of more than $94,000.

Plenty of cash there, then, to fund the numerous Democrats running to replace Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), who is himself campaigning to win the state’s open Senate seat.

Not that all the candidates are relying on checks from the district — or even Maryland more broadly. Kathleen Matthews, at the top of the heap in terms of fundraising at the end of 2015, has brought in nearly $1 million from out of state; that’s about three-quarters of her almost $1.6 million. In comparison, only 41 percent of the $1.3 million going to her most well-financed opponent, Jamie Raskin, had crossed a state line to get to him.

Like Hillary Clinton in the presidential contest, Matthews — a former local TV anchor who became a Marriott International exec and is married to MSNBC host Chris Matthews — is the pick of the Democratic establishment. That’s abundantly clear from scanning the names that turn up in her FEC filings. She has the highest number of donors who once had voting privileges in the House or Senate — former Reps. Vic Fazio, Harold Ford and Martin Frost and former Sens. Tom Daschle and John Breaux, to name a few. She has entertainment industry celebs like Barbra Streisand, Rob Reiner and Ed Begley. And she has drawn the support of a boatload of people tied to the White House of President Bill Clinton: former chief-of-staff Mack McLarty and his wife; Bob Bennett, the lawyer who represented Clinton in his dustup with Paula Jones; former Treasury Department official Roger Altman; former Commerce Secretary William Daley; and Don Baer, who was a senior adviser to Clinton.

She also has the corporate crowd sewn up, with gifts from the likes of Keneth Chenault, chairman and CEO of American Express, and Ursula Burns, who holds the same positions with Xerox. And let’s not even get started on the hotel industry’s enthusiasm for filling her coffers — cash has rained down not just from Marriott executives and family members, but from Jim Abrahamson, CEO of International Hotels and Resorts; Starwood Hotels CEO Adam Aron; Jonathan Tisch, chair and CEO of Leow’s Hotels; boutique hotelier Ian Schrager and many, many more. Ted Leonsis, the owner of several professional Washington sports teams including the Wizards and the Capitals, is also in the cast.

One indication of Matthews’ popularity with muckety-mucks: She has101 donors who report that their title is “founder,” “president,” “CEO” or “chairman” of their place of employment. Raskin comes in second with 64, Kumar Barve with 62 and Will Jawando with 37. Granted, anyone can incorporate and call themselves a CEO, but the entities listed by Matthews’ donors tend to be household — or at a minimum around-the-Beltway — names.

Lobbyists and lawyers are well-represented. And Matthews has even received contributions from a few Republicans, like former Rep. Susan Molinari, who is now a Google executive, and Frank Fahrenkopf, a former head of the Republican National Committee. (We’ll admit this is not particularly Hillary-like, though some Republicans have said they’ll vote for Clinton if Donald Trump gets the GOP nomination.) David Gergen has also given to her; his politics are expertly ambidextrous, though he’s served more Republican presidents than Democratic ones. Matthews’ own contribution to a member of the opposing party, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) has not gone unnoticed by many Democrats.

Raskin and the rest

In this year of pushback against the establishment in both parties, Matthews’ donor list may not work in her favor.

That would be a boon for Raskin, who’s politically to the left of Matthews. He’s majority whip of the state Senate and a constitutional law professor; his wife is President Obama’s deputy Treasury secretary. Compared with Matthews’, Raskin’s roster of contributors has a fraction of the star power — though he’s been endorsed by actor Michael Douglas.

Still, while grassroots party activists, law professors, labor union types and luminaries of the left like Stephen Bright, president of the Southern Center for Human Rights, form a big chunk of Raskin’s financial base, it’s not devoid of individuals who have made their names in other areas — like arts patron Peggy Cooper Cafritz, lawyer and Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos, former Federal Reserve Vice Chair Alice Rivlin and Ron Klain, formerly of the Clinton White House and Justice Department and now right-hand man to Steve Case at Revolution LLC.

Also, a seemingly improbable $2,000 contribution came Raskin’s way from Scott Banister, the ultra-rich technology entrepreneur who socked millions into a super PAC supporting Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) presidential bid and then backed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). Raskin appears to be the only Democratic candidate Banister has ever backed at the federal level.

Jawando, a former Obama White House aide and, at 33, the youngest of the top fundraisers in the race, also has a few high-profile donors: Democratic operative Harold Ickes, who served in the Clinton White House along with Joe Lockhart, also a contributor; Sean Sweeney, an Obama White House aide who co-founded Priorities USA Action, the super PAC that worked for Obama’s re-election and is now dedicated to Clinton’s effort; Kurt Schmoke, the former mayor of Baltimore; and financier Donald Sussman, a huge funder of Democratic candidates and committees over the years. Jawando has also drawn the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus’ PAC.

A clump of donations totaling $28,300 from employees of Turing Pharmaceuticals, including owner Martin Shkreli, hasn’t played particularly well for Jawando. Infamous for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug 5,000 percent after his company bought it, Shkreli has been indicted in a case involving a separate company. Jawando donated half of what he received from Shkreli to charity but kept the other half until after OpenSecrets Blog noted last month that he had done so; his campaign now says that he has given the remaining $2,700 to the U.S. Treasury.

In all, Jawando had taken in $357,000 as of Dec. 31.

That put him behind Barve, a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and its majority leader until he stepped aside to become a committee chair last year. Barve has raised $536,500 from a funding base that includes executives at a number of local companies and a large pool of Indian-Americans; Barve says he was the first Indian-American to be elected to a state legislature. Few glitterati could be glimpsed in his FEC filings.

If Matthews is the Hillary Clinton of the race, and Raskin, Jawando and Barve have shades of Bernie Sanders, there’s also a mini-Donald Trump in the picture: David Trone, the co-owner of Total Wine & More. Trone — a big Democratic donor for years, though he’s also supported Republicans — is self-financing, promising to take no contributions of more than $10; he’s already spent millions on TV ads and mailers. Because of the FEC’s filing schedule for candidates, voters won’t get a peek at his campaign finance reports, showing how much he’s putting into his bid and how he’s been spending it, until just before the primary.

A slightly awkward fact: Trone’s brother Robert, the other co-owner of Total Wine, has donated to Matthews’ campaign. But that was last year.

Double — or quadruple — dipping

Finally, let’s raise a glass to wanting to have it all, or just not being able to pick: At least 49 donors have given to multiple candidates in this race. Among them is former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry, who gave to Jawando and Matthews, and car dealer Jack Fitzgerald, who split $6,400 between Barve, Matthews and Raskiin.

But only one individual had given to all four of the top fundraising candidates in the race by Dec. 31: Real estate and casino developer Nathan Landow, a supporter of Democrats for decades whose political and business dealings have often led his name to come up in connection with controversial events, including allegationsagainst Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

Landow has maxed out ($2,700 is the contribution limit) to Barve, Raskin and Matthews, and has sent $1,000 Jawando’s way as well.

No independent polling has been done in the race, so it’s not clear who has the upper hand with voters. Other than Trone, Matthews is the only one of the candidates who has put big money into television. That was after the most recent FEC filings, which showed she had $1.1 million cash-on-hand compared with Raskin’s $869,000, Barve’s $295,000 and Jawando’s $215,000.

Maryland’s primary is April 26.

Senior Researcher Doug Weber contributed to this post.

More Must-Read Stories From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

Read More From TIME
You May Also Like