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Special funding for two special elections
Total donations and Source of donations

View Charts

Depending on turnout, the nine Democratic candidates vying for Boston’s two open state-representative seats (in the 18th Suffolk and the 12th Suffolk Districts) will combine to spend about $40 to $50 per voter by next Wednesday’s primary election. In both cases, the primary is the de facto election; the Democratic nominee should cruise to victory in the general election a few weeks later.

So, if only a few thousand people in each of these districts care enough to vote, who is giving the candidates well over $300,000 to campaign with? Not district residents, who have given just 11 percent of the total, according to a Phoenix review of campaign disclosures made this week. Neither has much come from lobbyists, who as a rule of thumb play it safe and support only incumbents; both these races are exclusively fielding newcomers.

For quick seed money, political newcomers naturally turn to family, friends, and political contacts. Where they have success often reflects, to some degree, the candidates themselves.

In the Allston-Brighton 18th Suffolk battle, Michael Moran has tried to paint himself as the neighborhood guy, and Tim Schofield as the carpetbagger. And in fact, Moran has received a third of his money from individuals with addresses in the district (which also includes part of Brookline), while Schofield has gotten relatively little. Schofield, who is openly gay, has gotten his funding largely from progressives and gay-rights supporters across the state and from outside Massachusetts. Moran also draws heavily from blue-collar unions; Schofield, an attorney, has given $10,000 of his own money to his campaign.

Gregory Glennon is running in the 18th Suffolk as the ideological heir to his former boss, Brian Golden. Glennon has drawn well from Golden’s supporters inside and outside the district (and from Golden himself). Joe Walsh, a 26-year-old who has not won many endorsements, has financed most of his own campaign.

Down in the 12th Suffolk, which includes parts of Dorchester, Mattapan, and Milton, Stacey Monahan and Linda Dorcena Forry have engaged in a fundraising battle royal. Monahan — aide to US Congressman Steve Lynch — has tapped into traditional Democratic money in the state. In addition to more than $20,000 from political-action committees, she has received contributions from union leaders and members. Forry, the self-proclaimed "New Boston" candidate, has received contributions from a virtual who’s who of prominent political minorities (including former assistant attorney general for civil rights and potential gubernatorial candidate Deval Patrick, Boston Department of Neighborhood Development director Charlotte Golar Richie, and State Representative Marie St. Fleur) and prominent, well-heeled Democratic power brokers Barbara Lee, Alan Solomont, Steven Grossman, and Greg and Maria Jobin-Leeds.

Eric Donovan, the one Tom Finneran–esque candidate in the race to replace the former Speaker, has received quite a few donations from the Irish-Catholic parts of Dorchester, both inside and outside the 12th Suffolk; he has also raised money from police- and firefighter-union members. Kirby Roberson has drawn money from the Haitian community in Mattapan and elsewhere — support that might otherwise have gone to Forry, also a Haitian-American. A third Haitian-American candidate, Emmanuel Bellegarde, is vying for the same support. His financial report was not available from the Office of Campaign and Political Finance at press time.

Issue Date: March 11 - 17, 2005
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