Elections

Kathleen Matthews Trounced In Democratic Primary Under Questions Of Donors’ Ties To Husband’s Show

(REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

Peter Hasson Senior Reporter

Scores of out-of-state donations, high name recognition, and a slew of high-powered endorsements weren’t enough for Kathleen Matthews to lock down the Democratic nomination for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. Once considered a favorite to win, Matthews finished a distant third after struggling to deal with concerns that she received donations from guests on her husband’s MSNBC show “Hardball.”

Matthews garnered just 24 percent of the vote on Tuesday, trailing businessman David Trone (27 percent) and state Sen. Jamie Raskin, whose 37 percent of the vote was enough for the nomination. Trone had previously questioned whether Matthews would truly be representing her voters, citing the close ties between Kathleen’s donors and Chris’ show.

The two Matthews first came under scrutiny in February when The Daily Caller revealed that some of Hillary Clinton’s biggest donors were pouring out-of-state money into Kathleen’s campaign.

The Intercept then revealed that Chris Matthews’ “Hardball” guests had donated $79,050 to Kathleen’s campaign, some within days of appearing on the show. Some of those donors opted to funnel the money through their spouse or super PAC, rather than making them in their own name. Some in the media accused Chris Matthews of a “pay to play” scheme, trading “Hardball” appearances for campaign donations.

Trone, who was virtually unknown before the race, released a statement slamming Matthews over her donors’ appearances on “Hardball.”

“The revolving door of political insiders trading favors with each other is just one reason why so many have lost faith in our political system. Washington is working for them and not us,” the statement said. “There’s nothing illegal about it. But, if the allegations are true, it certainly begs the question of whose interests Kathleen Matthews will represent in Congress.”

Trone went on to vault over Matthews for second place in the primary.

Matthews’ disappointing finish came in spite of endorsements from Democratic leaders like Sens. [crscore]Barbara Boxer[/crscore] of California and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, as well as The Washington Post.

Follow Peter Hasson on Twitter