PEABODY — Leah Cole has seen support for her state representative bid flood in from Republicans outside the city over the past month.
Campaign finance reports filed this week with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance indicate that from Feb. 15 to March 15, Cole, with $18,700, out-raised both unenrolled candidate Dave Gravel and Democratic candidate Beverley Ann Griffin Dunne combined.
Gravel, a city councilor-at-large and technology consultant, came in as the next-highest fundraiser at $16,100, with much of his support coming from within the city and his own wallet, according to reports. Gravel said he refuses to take any “outside money” and has raised the most out of all three candidates, according to year-to-date totals.
Griffin Dunne, 55, lagged behind both Gravel, 56, and Cole, 24, in fundraising, with $2,090 recorded raised from Feb. 15 to March 15, in the form of small donations from residents. But yesterday afternoon, she said an early draft was mistakenly sent electronically instead of the final report.
“It’s not accurate because it’s a clerical error,” Griffin Dunne said, saying a fundraiser and contributions totaled approximately $4,050 for the month. Her report also failed to carry over nearly $6,700 she had in her campaign coffers from the month prior. Griffin Dunne said she was planning to file an amended report with the state as soon as last night.
Candidates continued to file so-called “late reports” with the state, with Gravel’s campaign reporting a $500 contribution yesterday and Cole’s campaign reporting $1,000 in two $500 contributions on March 20.
Cole’s campaign spent $16,500, more than Gravel raised in the past month and nearly twice as much as Gravel’s campaign spent, leaving her with just over $6,000 in her account. Her campaign also counts a $1,900 loan from Cole for a mailer.
“I’m working hard,” Cole, a licensed practical nurse and political newcomer, said in a statement. “I’m out-raising my opponents, and outworking them, too.” Cole said she is hearing from voters as she goes door to door and that the race is being watched on the state level.