SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Election

November 1, 2012

Incumbent Speliotis outpaces Bennett in campaign financing

DANVERS — Incumbent state Rep. Ted Speliotis has a significant advantage in campaign resources with less than a week to go before voters head to the polls, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

Speliotis, a Democrat from Danvers, raised more than $8,000 between Aug. 8 and Oct. 19, to add to more than $32,000 he already had in the bank.

Republican Dan Bennett, a Danvers selectman, raised about $5,500 over that period, but started with just $50.

Speliotis now has about $21,800 cash on hand, while Bennett has about $4,500.

They are competing to represent the 13th Essex District, which includes Danvers and parts of Peabody and Middleton.

Bennett, who entered the race after a surprising and successful write-in bid during the September primary, said he isn’t worried about being the financial underdog.

“He can spend all the funds he wants,” Bennett said. “I don’t think spending a ton of money in a local race like this is going to make a lot of difference. It’s about getting your face out there and meeting voters.”

Both men have been out knocking on doors, distributing signs and sending out mailings in this abbreviated campaign, which has been going on now for only about two months.

Speliotis said he has “mailed almost every week since (Bennett) got in this campaign.”

The incumbent has spent about $18,500 in mostly printing and mailing in the last month, according to campaign finance documents. Bennett has spent about $1,000.

Although documents show that Bennett has about $4,500 left in his coffers, most of that is now gone after the candidate purchased and mailed 10,000 5-by-8-inch color postcards to houses across the district this week, he said.

Bennett said his campaign has been “very frugal,” reusing many of the lawn signs and bumper stickers he purchased for his unsuccessful 2010 campaign against Speliotis. Bennett has also purchased advertising in local newspapers and online.

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