In Mass. governor's race, Baker leads pack in fundraising
BOSTON (AP) - Republican Charlie Baker is not only leading every other candidate in the fundraising race for governor, but his financial support is also deeper across a wider swath of Massachusetts than any of his rivals.
A review of campaign finance records by The Associated Press shows Baker has received contributions of more than $50 from all but about 50 of the state's 351 cities and towns. The next closest candidate is Democrat Martha Coakley, who's received contributions of more than $50 from all but about 90 communities.
The patchwork fundraising map of Massachusetts also shows Baker has received more than any other candidate, community by community, in large areas in central Massachusetts and north and south of Boston.
Baker is also outpacing other candidates along portions of Cape Cod, in communities stretching along the state's southern edge and in two of the state's largest cities, Worcester and Springfield.
In Worcester, for example, Baker has collected about $20,500, more than double the amount collected all the other candidates combined.
Baker's campaign finance director Mark Fuller said the candidate is overwhelmed by the support and is "working day and night to earn the votes of Massachusetts residents in every corner of the state."
Coakley, the state's attorney general, topped every other candidate in several dozen communities, including Lowell, Concord, Lincoln, her hometown of Medford and North Adams, where she grew up.
A spokeswoman for Coakley's campaign said she's outraised every other Democrat during the past seven months.
"Martha is on the road every day, listening to families, workers, those out of work and business owners," said campaign press secretary Bonnie McGilpin.
Another Democrat, former federal health care official Donald Berwick, showed fundraising prowess in liberal enclaves like Cambridge and Amherst. In Cambridge, Berwick raised more than $67,000 by mid-July compared to Coakley and fellow Democrat, state Treasurer Steve Grossman, who each raised about $41,000 in the city.
Berwick has captured the imagination of many liberals for his support of a single-payer health care system.
Campaign spokesman Leigh Appleby said Berwick has been able to hold his own even though he's never run for statewide office before.
"He has consistently raised as much or more than his two primary opponents, both of whom are Beacon Hill insiders," Appleby said, referring to Coakley and Grossman.
Grossman topped every other candidate in fewer than 20 communities, including Brookline, where he collected about $48,000 compared to about $38,000 for Berwick and $31,000 for Coakley.
There are some quirks in the map.
The candidate who reported raising the most in Boston is independent candidate Jeff McCormick, who collected around $700,000. That's because McCormick, who lives in Boston, has given his campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Coakley came in second in Boston, having collected nearly $500,000. Berwick raised nearly $370,000; Baker, nearly $174,000; and Grossman, about $122,000.
Another quirk is in Newton, Grossman's hometown. Newton is also the hometown of independent candidate Evan Falchuk, who's loaned his campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars and collected a total $725,000.
Grossman came in second in Newton, having collected about $121,000 there. Coakley and Berwick each raised about $72,000 there.
The map showed the most volatile part of the state for fundraising was western Massachusetts, where Baker, Coakley, Grossman and Berwick each could claim to have raised the most in different communities.
Western Massachusetts also had the highest concentration of communities where residents decided to keep their wallets closed. Of the 30 communities statewide where no resident had contributed $50 or more to any gubernatorial candidate, 25 were located in western Massachusetts.
As of mid-July, Baker had the most cash on hand in his campaign account ($1,110,687), followed by Grossman ($819,012), Coakley ($371,218), Berwick ($202,182), Falchuk ($130,123), Republican Mark Fisher ($39,326), McCormick ($16,857), and independent Scott Lively ($3,684).
Baker also benefits from the fundraising muscle of his hand-picked running mate, former Shrewsbury state Rep. Karyn Polito. As of mid-July, Polito had about $511,000 left in her campaign account.
On the Democratic side, there is a five-way primary for lieutenant governor. Whoever wins will team up with the winner of the gubernatorial contest for the November election.
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