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Study: Mayoral Candidates Spend $6M in ’17 Election ~ Rivera Ranks #7 Among Big Spenders

According to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF), mayoral finalists in 35 cities reported $6,092,517 in expenditures during the 2017 election.

HERE ARE THE TOP TEN BIG SPENDERS

Name

City

Expenditures

Won/Lost

1)

Martin Walsh (I)

Boston

$2,208,827

Won

2)

Ruthanne Fuller (O)

Newton

$376,984

Won

3)

Tito Jackson

Boston

$333,656

Lost

4)

Joseph Curtatone (I)

Somerville

$313,986

Won

5)

Scott Lennon (O)

Newton

$283,676

Lost

6)

Jasiel Correia (I)

Fall River

$250,989

Won

7)

Dan Rivera (I)

Lawrence

$225,731

Won

8)

Thomas McGee

Lynn

$192,080

Won

9)

Kimberly Driscoll (I)

Salem

$185,823

Won

10)

John Stefanini (O)

Framingham

$146,383

Lost

The spending total is the fourth highest since OCPF began releasing studies on the campaign finance activity of mayoral candidates in 1997.

The 58 mayoral candidates in 2017 is the lowest number recorded in an OCPF study, in part because 10 cities did not have 2017 elections due to four-year terms. There were also 12 unopposed candidates in the 35 city elections held in 2017.

The 2017 election also featured a first – Framingham, which voted to become a city in 2017, elected its first mayor, Yvonne Spicer.

The study, released every two years, includes campaign finance activity for all finalists during the election year. Candidates who were eliminated in a preliminary election are not included.

The top fundraiser among mayoral candidates in 2017 was Mayor Martin Walsh of Boston, who raised $2,491,914. The fundraising record was set in 2013 when Walsh raised $3,004,406.

Walsh also topped the spending list at $2,208,827 in 2017.  In 2013, Walsh set the record at $3,015,209.

The Boston contest between Walsh and former City Councilor Tito Jackson topped the list of most active races with $2,542,483 in expenditures. Historically, Boston’s candidates always report the most fundraising and spending.

Newton had the second most campaign finance activity with $660,660 in expenditures in an open race between Ruthanne Fuller, the eventual winner, and Scott Lennon.

On the other end of the spectrum, the contested race with the least amount of spending was in Gloucester, where Mayor Safatia Romeo Theken reported $12,906 in expenditures. Her opponent did not report any spending.

Traditionally, the candidate who spends the most money wins. The top spender in 20 of 23 contested elections won.

The study also found that the average amount spent per vote by a candidate was $15.48, more than $5 less than the record average of $20.96 set in 2013.

Please click here for the full study.

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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