ELECTION 2024: St. Mary’s Circuit Court fundraising is fast and furious as candidates court favor from checkwriters; most contributors to Lorenzini can’t vote but they have moola!


Saint Mary’s Circuit Court 2024
Campaign Finance Record Summary



The campaign records filed by Keep Amy Judge show that the campaign is amplifying its effort to keep Lorenzini on the bench. Over $12,586 was spent on media, $1,782 on printing, and $2,678 on “field expenses.”  “Other” was compensated with $3,085.

$101,919.74 was reported for income, and the cash balance on hand was $78,286 as of Jan. 17, 2024.

Those who invest the most in keeping Amy Judge can’t vote for her.

More than $63,000 of Lorenzini’s campaign contributions come from people who are not voters or citizens of St. Mary’s County. Many of the contributors are lawyers or associated with title companies or law firms. One defense attorney, Hammad Matin, of Charles County, is a noted DUI and criminal defense attorney with scores of cases in the St. Mary’s Circuit Court. Matin donated $5,000 to Lorenzini’s campaign on November 29, 2023.

Lorenzini has made three loans to her campaign committee, totaling $51,000.

Hiring an Annapolis consultant to create and guide her first political campaign, Lorenzini paid Strategic Partners and Media two payments in 2023, totaling $8,100. A refund of $2,800 on November 13, 2023, was made to Lorenzini on November 14, 2023, to refund marketing costs.

Governor Larry Hogan employed the firm for his successful 2014 campaign and his reelection in 2018, and candidates across the nation hire it to advise them on how to win elections.

A North Carolina firm, Burton Research and Strategy, was paid over $3,100 for consulting in the Lorenzini run for the circuit court bench.  

Many large groups and families gather for events at St. Mary’s Landing including this campaign fundraiser for Judge Karen Abrams in 2004. Former Congressman and Sen. Roy Dyson, left, Judge Abrams, former Del. Ernie Bell. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The use of out-of-town consultants is proof that things have changed in St. Mary’s County politics, at least as far as getting advice from wise sages on how to win an election.  

The greybeards of local law and politics are dead and gone. There is no longer a Johnny Briscoe or Walter Dorsey to consult on how to line up teachers, big families, the Seventh District Optimists or the Golden Beach folks behind the campaign. 

Influential individuals, such as Bobby Gant, are no longer around to drop by for some well-paid campaign walk-around money. Jane Yowaiski is no longer available to make sure all the folks in the nursing home fill out their absentee ballots, consciously or not.

St. Mary’s Bar Association. Philip Dorsey, lower left, helped pass the repeal of prohibition in the Maryland General Assembly and was later appointed to the Circuit Court, where he served until he retired in 1970. Bottom right, next to Judge Dorsey, is William O. E. Sterling, who became St. Mary’s first District Court Judge. Photo courtesy of Walter B. Dorsey.

At one time, candidates and their surrogates would host rounds for the house at Old Gum Tavern, the American Legion in Ridge, the Belvedere, the Roost, Quade’s Store, Betty Russell’s Store, Hole in the Wall, Toots Bar, Pennies Bar, Anderson’s Bar, Leonardtown Wharf, or Town Inn.  The Lorenzini campaign held a tablecloth event for out-of-county lawyers in Waldorf, the cost of which won’t be disclosed until the next campaign finance filing dates.

Lorenzini spent several years as an assistant state’s attorney working for Richard Fritz. After leaving the Dark Knight’s office, she became the manager of Calvert County’s largest law firm, which accounts for many of her contributions coming from Calvert County attorneys.
Further away from Leonardtown is a donation of $1,000 from Robert Kalinoski, the managing partner of Kalinoski & Riordan, located in Baltimore County.  

Lorenzini has tapped into clients of the law firm she managed, Cumberland & Erly, until she was selected for the open judgeship by Gov. Larry Hogan. Marianne Harms donated $250. She is the widow of John Harms, who developed a six-hundred-acre farm in one of the last pristine areas of Calvert County. The Farms at Hunting Creek, is a development of 183 homes that he completed before his death in 2014. The campaign record shows that Lorenzini incorrectly posted Marianne’s first name and address.

Keeping with funding sources from outside St. Mary’s County is a donation of $5,000 on January 7, 2024, from Nicholas Fulginiti, an executive chef at District Winery, which bills itself as DC’s first working winery and is located in the ‘Heart of the Navy Yard’ at Water Street, SE, featuring fine food and wine by the glass at $18.
Court records show that Chef Nicholas does more than cook, as Nicholas William Fulginiti of 355 Cross Creek Drive, Huntingtown, Md., was charged by Calvert Sheriff Deputy Fox with DUI and failure to remain at the scene of a crash or return to the scene on June 3, 2012. Court records show that Fulginiti was involved in a traffic collision which resulted in personal injury. In a plea deal between Calvert States Attorney Laura Martin and private attorney Bob Harvey, in Calvert District Court, Fulginiti entered a guilty plea on Feb 27, 2013, and was given a verdict of Probation Before Judgement by District Court Judge Robert Riddle, with sixty days in jail, all of which was suspended. No court costs or fine was assessed against Fulginiti.

Among the contributions from St. Mary’s County are some listed under business or LLC names. One for “Greenlite” of $1,750 has the same address for noted legal tycoon Philip H. Dorsey III.  

Two contributions of $500 each are listed from two firms, Tri-County Abstract, and Washington Street Office Associates LLP, with the same address in a building owned by Mike “The Weasel” Whitson. Whitson is a long-time political guru in St Mary’s County and the chief architect of Congressman Steny Hoyer’s failure to win St. Mary’s County in nearly twenty years.  

Whitson was also the mastermind of the losing campaign of former Democrat Commissioner Joe Anderson in his 1994 loss to Republican County Commissioner Chris Brugman. Brugman, who was vilified as nothing but a ‘paperboy’ by Whitson and Anderson, beat Anderson by 3,000 votes.  Anderson had the first $ 100-a-plate breakfast in St. Mary’s County election history at a hotel owned by Tommy Waring, which was well attended by supplicants seeking favors and waivers from the St. Mary’s Planning Commission, of which Anderson was a member.  

Brugman and his family were Washington Post distributors, reaching about a third of St. Mary’s County, and Brugman wrote a weekly column in ST. MARY’S TODAY. Brugman decided against running for a second term, and in 1998, Anderson, who moved to a different commissioner district (he had moved from Drayden to Chestnut Ridge in order to run in 1994) beat Liberal Republican Paul Chesser, who was so confused in a Joe Biden type of way that he often voted against his own motions. Anderson only served one term, during which he was an advocate for higher spending, higher taxes, and increased restrictions on property rights. Anderson lost in 2002 to Republican Kenny Dement, who campaigned on a theme that “I might be dumb, but I’m no commie.”


What does a $5,000 donation to a candidate buy this top criminal defense attorney?

Defense attorney Hammad Matin.
Circuit-Court-cases-with-appearance-filed-by-Hammad-Matin-in-St.-Marys-since-Lorenzini-was-appointed-to-the-bench on June 10, 2022.

Editors Note: Judge Amy Lorenzini was asked to provide explanations about her contributors, why a chef in DC would donate $5,000 to her campaign (he was a resident of Calvert at the time of his conviction on a DUI charge in 2013), and to provide any explanation about taking contributions from notable DUI criminal defense attorney Hammad Matin. If and when Lorenzini provides any comment, this article will be updated.


Sue Ann Armitage’s campaign finance reports begin with the letter “A” as the form invites the filer to list contributions alphabetically.

Tim Cameron with Dan Alioto upon graduation from the DEA Academy. According to county records, Alioto resigned while under investigation for truthfulness after he was faced with firing, reduction in rank, and stripping of his gun, badge, and police vehicle. Alioto was Cameron’s hatchet man and commander of the agency Vice Squad.

An ex-cop who couldn’t testify in court due to truthfulness issues forked over a grand to Sue Ann

Therefore, the first contribution from a newsworthy person is from the former St. Mary’s Sheriff’s Department Captain Daniel Alioto. Alioto resigned from his post as commander of vice-narcotics while being investigated for truthfulness. He was the presumptive new assistant sheriff upon the retirement of Maj. John Horne. Sheriff Tim Cameron gave him a choice between a demotion to the rank of corporal or to resign. Alioto contributed $1,000 to Armitage’s campaign effort.
Sue Ann Armitage was asked by THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY about the Alioto campaign contribution. She said she was unaware of Alioto’s future ability to testify as a witness in circuit court because he left his police job while under investigation for truthfulness. Armitage said she represented a family member of Alioto in a civil matter and provided a good outcome, which is what she believed triggered the donation to her campaign.

Armitage has a slew of neighbors plunking down checks for several hundred dollars each while developers are well represented on the Armitage campaign rolls. Those developers include Dana Cullison, Rachelle Millison, Brian Norris, and John Parlett, with contributions listed in their own names or those of various firms they control.  

Should any of these developers wind up in circuit court in the next few years, it would help to have made contributions in this election race.

Judge David Densford failed to recuse himself in a case involving Maryland Bank & Trust when officers and shareholders in that institution had contributed to his election campaign. Instead of recusing himself, Densford repeatedly told those involved in the trial, a case involving the late Charles S. Kimball, not to mention the name of the bank, Maryland Bank & Trust.

A contribution to the Armitage election campaign hidden behind an LLC with principal offices in Atlanta, Georgia, and Chevy Chase, Md, contributed $4,000 to the campaign.   RKA FBT LLC is a Maryland Domestic LLC, and without providing the name of the person making the donation, the transaction is at least a bit fishy.  A deep dive into Maryland corporation records shouldn’t have to be conducted if the point of disclosure of campaign records is conducted with the spirit of the law.

The Leonardtown Group LLC is traceable only to the registered agent for the business, attorney Joann Wood, which appears to be on purpose. This firm kicked in $5,000.

SUE ANN ARMITAGE: provided the following information about the donations: The Leonardtown Group is Maria Icassa and Glen Heisler, owners of the four Dunkin Donuts in St. Mary’s County. RKA FBT is the Boothe Family.

 Defense contractor Wayne Taylor donated $6,000, and his firm, J.F. Taylor Inc., is listed under his contribution.

Maggie O’Brien, the former St. Mary’s College President who foisted international learning at a campus in Communist China during her reign in St. Mary’s City, donated $4,500 in in-kind contributions and services of Jubilee Farm for a Sip and Support fundraiser on January 6, 2024.

Sue Ann Armitage Campaign Finance Report

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