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Central Mass. Politicians with the Most Campaign Cash

Tuesday, May 01, 2012


Many Worcester County politicians face re-election this year and GoLocalWorcester uncovered who has the most money in their campaign war chest for the Massachusetts House and Senate races.

Lobbyist and former Worcester County Sheriff Guy Glodis said, “Money is the milk of politics. You can’t get your message out without it.”

But most politicians agree that fundraising is their least favorite part of the job. State Rep. James O'Day said, “It is the least appealing part of the job.”

So how important is money to a campaign? Glodis said there are three things to consider when running a campaign- field, turnout and money. Field is who is running against you. Glodis said turnout is important, because incumbents tend to do better with low turnout. Glodis said “Money can control number one and number two.”

Facing an incumbent

Glodis explains why newcomers have an uphill battle when facing an incumbent, “It is tough to beat an incumbent. They have an organization, name notoriety, and then combine that with the money. It becomes very difficult when there’s a sizable money difference.”

State Rep. James O’Day, D-West Boylston, is being challenged by Republican William McCarthy of Worcester, a former candidate for county sheriff. He currently has close to $29,000 in his campaign account. He was asked how much he needs to raise in order to beat McCarthy, “ I have not put a figure on what I need to raise. I usually have two fundraisers a year and I am eternally grateful to the people who donate.”

State Rep. John Mahoney has about $6,500 in his account. Rep. Mahoney said, “I expect to raise another $10,000 by the end of spring and another ten by the election this year. It is probably what politicians least like to do. New people like myself have a lot less money.”

Rep. Mahoney’s account has less cash compared to several Worcester County State Representatives and Senators. Mahoney said, “Some people find it easy to ask for money and I am not as aggressive as others I guess. I hold the same events every year. It has been awhile since I had an opponent and you don't have to spend when you don't have an opponent.”

Not revealing their strategy or fundraising goals

Other politicians are a bit reluctant to reveal how much money they hope to raise in order to secure their position on Beacon Hill. State Sen. Michael Moore, D-Milbury, is running against Republican Stephen Simonian of Auburn. Senator Moore said, “I am going to raise as much money needed to implement our campaign strategy. How I implement my strategy is not something I feel comfortable talking about. I have a strategy and don't want to put it in an article.”

Senator Moore has close to $47,000 in his account. Moore said it has not been difficult to fundraise despite the bad economy. “No I have not found it hard. However, I am not someone out fundraising all the time.”


















The largest campaign account

State Senator John Binienda has the most campaign cash of all Worcester County politicians running for State Rep. or Senator. Binienda has about $400,000.

Glodis said this should come as no surprise. “Binienda is the senior member of the delegation and highest ranking in leadership from the delegation so it would make sense he has the most amount of money. Beating John Binienda would be difficult if he had a zero balance, because of his name recognition, but when you consider his balance it becomes a near impossible task.”

Currently Binienda does not have an opponent at the moment. He told GoLocalWorcester during a campaign he will spend anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000. He credits his large bank account to longevity. He has been in the Mass House since 1987. “I am not a huge fundraiser. I have one fundraiser in June. I hate asking people for money. I have a large account because of my position. I am Chairman of the Rules. Every bill a legislator wants submitted to the legislative process must go through me. I report directly to the Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo.”

Binienda said the money he raises doesn’t just go into his campaign, but also right back into the community. He donates about $15,000-$20,000 each year to area charities. Binienda said, “I don’t want to see some program in my district have financial hardship and want to keep them going.” 


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