Buoyed by a $10,000 personal loan to her campaign, Margo Barnet (D-Worcester) led all of her Democratic challengers in fundraising for the 13th Worcester District House seat.
Barnet raised just over $33,000 in the reporting period from January 1 through August 27. She also has more cash remaining in her campaign account, reporting $14,694 left to spend in her quest for the open seat being vacated by Bob Spillane (D-Worcester).
However, a closer look at Barnet's report with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance indicates that she could be in for more criticism from fellow candidates over her perceived ties to special interests.
In last week's debate, Barnet came under fire for the endorsements she has received from Political Action Committees across the state. Campaign records show that Barnet has benefited from those PACs to the tune of $2,700, more than any other candidate in the race.
Her main critic at the debate, Mike Perotto (D-Worcester), has also been a top beneficiary of PAC money. Perotto's take from PACs was second in the district, with $1,900 logged from the organizations. No other candidate in the race has received more than $550 from PACs and two candidates, Gina DiBaro (D-Worcester) and Joff Smith (D-Worcester) reported no PAC money at all.
Barnet has also raised more money from out-of-state and out-of-district sources than any of the other candidates. 58% of the $23,159 she has raised (outside of her personal loan) have come from donors outside of Worcester or Paxton, with over $4,600 of that coming from outside of Massachusetts.
Despite leading all candidates in fundraising, Barnet has raised the least money from Worcester and Paxton, bringing in only a tick over $7,000 from the towns in the district. The best local fundraiser was DiBaro, who pulled in $10,420 from local donors.
(Smith only logged $6,975 in itemized receipts from the district, but logged over $3,000 in small, un-itemized contributions. While his verified contributions were less than Barnet's, he undoubtedly brought in more than $50 in small contributions from the district. Barnet itemized all of her receipts, claiming zero un-itemized contributions)
Smith and Don Sharry (D-Worcester) find themselves in a strong position to make a late push, each of them having over $12,000 still in the bank. Despite raising nearly $20,000 in the period, DiBaro has spent nearly all of it, leaving her campaign with just over $3,000 to spend in the last week of campaigning. Perotto's campaign is also nearly broke, with just $1,330 left out of nearly $17,000 raised.
John Mahoney (D-Worcester) raised the smallest amount in the period, banking just over $15,000, however he started the period with over $15,500 from his city council campaign coffers.
Here are some raw numbers:
Total Fundraising (1/1/10-8/27/10)
Cash on hand (as of 8/27/10)
Out-of-District Contributions (Out-of-State in parentheses)*
Mahoney $5,365 ($500)
Perotto $3,850 ($450)*
Political Action Committees
*--"District" includes all contributions from Worcester and Paxton. Many contributions from Worcester may have been from parts of the city outside the district. Smith and Perotto each reported over $3,000 in un-itemized contributions, which are not included in the District and Out-of-District totals.