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Sarbanes Turns to Small Donors

Rep. John Sarbanes hopes to receive 1,000 donations of less than $100.

Rep. John Sarbanes, who represents much of North Baltimore, is running an interesting experiment during this year’s election.

Sarbanes is trying to see if primarily small donors can finance his campaign as part of his Grassroots Donors project, where he has raised $500,000 from traditional donations of more than $100, but can’t access it until he receives at least 1,000 donations between $5 and $100, according to Salon.

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But Sarbanes isn't taking a huge risk with his reelection chances.

Sarbanes, son of former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes, is facing Republican Eric Knowles (who is also the Constitution Party's candidate for governor) in a heavily Democratic district. In 2010, Sarbanes received 61 percent of the vote.

According to federal campaign finance reports, Sarbanes has reported $964,593 on hand compared to Knowles $361. Sarbanes' report also shows that 97 percent of the money he has raised comes from individual donors with a single $1,000 political action committee donation coming from the International Brotherhood of Painters and Allied Trades.

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