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Guv candidates spending dropped as superpacs poured $$$ into race


By Gintautas Dumcius


STATE HOUSE — Candidates for statewide office spent $33.1 million, including $20.2 million on the race for governor, during last year’s election cycle, according to a study from the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Spending in open races for attorney general and treasurer hit new highs for those offices, the independent agency known as OCPF said in findings released on Wednesday.

Four of the six constitutional offices were open in 2014, including governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and treasurer. Auditor Suzanne Bump and Secretary of State William Galvin defeated opponents to win re-election.

The amount spent on the 2014 governor’s race by eight candidates from different parties came to half of the total spent during the last time the Corner Office had an open seat. In 2006, gubernatorial candidates tore through $42.3 million, and statewide candidate spending totaled $51.3 million, according to the agency.

Gubernatorial candidates spent $30.6 million in 2002, another open race. Total spending in constitutional office races hit $47 million.

When former Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, ran against Republican Charlie Baker and independent Tim Cahill in 2010, spending in the race totaled $17.6 million. Statewide races in 2010 totaled $30.4 million in spending, according to OCPF.

Baker won in 2014, spending $5.6 million, $1.1 million more than in 2010. Democrat Martha Coakley, who reported spending $3.9 million, and three independents also ran for the governor’s office in 2014.

Spending from outside groups, which did not face contribution and expenditure limits, figured prominently in the governor’s race between Baker and Coakley. Third party groups spent $16.9 million in support or in opposition to the Democratic and Republican nominees.

OCPF reviewed the filings of 29 candidates who ran for statewide office, and released its findings on Wednesday. The agency did not include numbers from two Democratic candidates who did not qualify for the primary ballot: Juliette Kayyem and Joseph Avellone.

Among the seven candidates for lieutenant governor, who spent a total of $3.3 million, Republican Karyn Polito spent $1.7 million, and her Democratic opponent Stephen Kerrigan spent $869,000. The total spending dropped 32 percent from 2010.

The race to replace Coakley as attorney general saw $4.3 million in spending, surpassing the $3.9 million spent in 1998. Warren Tolman, a Watertown Democrat and former state senator, spent $1.9 million and lost to Charlestown Democrat Maura Healey in the primary.

Healey spent $1.4 million in the race, while her opponent, Winchester Republican John Miller, spent $1 million.

Candidates for treasurer spent $4.6 million last year, up from the last high of $4.2 million in 2002. Democrat Deb Goldberg won the race, outpacing her opponents and hitting $2.4 million in expenditures.

Galvin and Bump reported higher spending than their Republican opponents.

Galvin, who was first elected to the job in 1994, spent $467,087 to Republican David D’Arcangelo’s $28,097.

Bump reported spending $177,243 to Republican Patricia Saint Aubin’s $64,599.

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