SALEM — Ward 2 Councilor Mike Sosnowski, who is facing his first challenger in a decade, has raised more money than any City Council or School Committee candidate, according to campaign finance reports filed this week.
Sosnowski, 65, who is seeking a sixth term, reported more than $13,000 in total contributions, including $9,865 raised in the past few months.
His challenger, Heather Famico, a 27-year-old schoolteacher making her first run for office, has raised about $4,000 — or less than a third of Sosnowski’s total.
In neighboring Ward 1, the City Council race is too close to call, if campaign donations are any measure.
Incumbent Bob McCarthy, who is seeking a fourth term, entered the year with nearly $3,500 and has raised $6,500 since January for a total of almost $10,000. Challenger Steve Pinto, a former councilor-at-large, reported contributions of about $8,400, including nearly $6,700 this year.
In the battle for four councilor-at-large seats, newcomer Elaine Milo, an administrator at Salem State University, reported campaign contributions of $6,700, most of which arrived recently.
Council President Jerry Ryan, the Ward 4 councilor who is now running at-large, raised more than $6,100 this year.
The relatively large amount of fundraising and spending in the School Committee race reflects the heightened interest this year, when the school system is in the midst of a turnaround effort. Three incumbents and three strong challengers are battling it out for three seats.
Incumbent Brendan Walsh, a former school administrator seeking a third term, led all candidates with about $4,000 in donations, including $1,745 in the past two months. Rachel Hunt, the head of school at the Salem Academy Charter School and a first-time candidate, wasn’t far behind, raising nearly $3,000, according to her latest filing.
Mayor Kim Driscoll, who is not facing a serious challenge next week, still raised a lot of money this year, according to a report filed before the preliminary election. She reported donations of about $25,000 this year, which brought her campaign treasury to more than $81,000. She listed total expenditures of almost $34,000.
Ward councilor donors
With so much interest in several key races, a lot of well-known locals have lined up behind candidates.
McCarthy, for example, got $250 from Salem Inn co-owner Diane Pabich; $250 from Frank Milo, husband of councilor-at-large candidate Elaine Milo; $100 from former Salem State College President Nancy Harrington; and $500 from Carter Vinson.
Contributing to Pinto’s comeback campaign were former Councilor John Ronan ($200), current councilors Mike Sosnowski and Todd Siegel ($100 each), former School Committee member Mike Allen ($200), former Health Board Chairwoman Paulette Puleo ($100) and former director of assessing Frank Kulik ($100).
Families sometimes have to split their support right down the middle. The Committee to Elect Joan Lovely, for example, gave McCarthy $100, while Attorney Steve Lovely, her husband, donated $200 to Pinto.
In the Ward 2 fight, Sosnowski got financial contributions from Dr. Patrick Curtin ($500), a former member of the Park and Recreation Board who supported a number of candidates in this election. Other Sosnowski contributors include contractor Patrick Deiulis ($250); neighborhood activist Mary Madore ($175); Dorothy Harrington of Beverly ($250), the wife of Mike Harrington of the Hawthorne Hotel; Peter Ingemi ($200) of Steve’s Market; and Darrow Lebovici and Meg Twohey of Federal Street, who gave a combined $600.
Famico, his opponent in Ward 2, had contributions of $500 from developer Bill Goldberg of Salem and from her father, animal control officer Don Famico; and $250 each from local activist David Pelletier and Joanie Famico.
School Committee donors
In the school board campaign, Brendan Walsh received $100 from former Superintendent Henry O’Donnell and former school administrator Bob Pesce. Former Superintendent Herb Levine also contributed. Attorney Edward Moriarty, who gave to a number of campaigns, donated $250 to Walsh, as did Marshall Strauss of Chestnut Street.
Rachel Hunt donors include the Committee to Elect Kim Driscoll ($100), Tim Clarke ($100), Salem Inn co-owner Dick Pabich ($100) and architect Mark Meche ($250), who helped Hunt launch the charter school.
Incumbent Janet Crane had contributions of $1,295, including donations from fellow school board member Jim Fleming ($100) and from Ed Moriarty ($250).
Rick Johnson, making his first run for school board, reported total donations of about $1,700. Contributors include Sarah Morrill ($100) of the Salem Education Foundation and Jacqueline Washburn ($250).
Howling Wolf owner Patrick Schultz, a former teacher and administrator, listed donations of $672 for the past month and expenditures for the year of about $3,000. Schultz contributors include Matthew Murphy and Sarah Morrill ($100), Paul and Marin Konstadt ($100), and Gayle Sullivan ($100), a Salem High School nurse.
Incumbent Lisa Lavoie listed a balance of $889 and no contributions this year.
In the councilor-at-large race, Elaine Milo reported donations from developer Bill Goldberg ($500) of Salem, the Carpenters’ Local 26 Political Action Committee ($250), Kimberly Muller of North Andover ($250) and Gary Barrett of Salem ($100).
Jerry Ryan received $300 from Mike Allen, $500 from relative John Butler, $200 from Patrick Curtin and $100 from Patrick Deiulis.
Incumbent Arthur Sargent, a councilor since 2000, reported donations of $295 the past two months and an ending balance of $698. Patrick Curtin gave him $150.
William Legault, who filled an at-large vacancy last winter, reported contributions of nearly $1,800 this year.
Norene Gachignard, a former school board member running at-large, had contributions of $2,805. Contributors included John Boris ($100), funeral home director Paul Levesque ($200), Robert Lutts ($100), former school board members Peg Howard ($100) and Darleen Melis ($100), and Beverly City Councilor Jason Silva ($100), the former chief aide to Driscoll.
Incumbent Tom Furey, who has been on the council since 1996, reported no contributions this year and expenses of about $2,000. Candidate Ken Sawicki also reported no contributions.
In the Ward 4 City Council race, Sean O’Brien reported raising about $2,500 the past two months for a total of about $4,300. He got contributions from Denise Barrows of Wakefield ($500) and the Massachusetts Republican Municipal PAC ($250). The other Ward 4 candidate, David Eppley, reported contributions of $410 since August and a balance of $760. Elaine Milo, a council-at-large candidate, donated $500 to Eppley earlier in the year.
In Ward 6, incumbent Paul Prevey reported about $2,000 in donations this year, including $200 from Patrick Curtin and Edward Moriarty. His opponent, Beth Gerard, received about $1,000 since September. Contributors include Robert Badolato of Marblehead ($150), and Dick and Diane Pabich ($150).
Among those who contributed $250 or more to Mayor Driscoll were Ronald Brogan, owner of O’Neill’s Pub; Carpenter’s Local Union 26 PAC; Nina Cohen; developer Paul Dibiase; Scott Ferson of Belmont, president of the Liberty Square Group; Dorothy Harrington of Beverly and the Hawthorne Hotel; Kam Fun Lam of Lotus Gifts; Andrea Leary of Marblehead; Massachusetts Brick Layers People’s Committee; Nicole Mclaughlin of the Plummer Home; real estate agent Betsy Merry; Sally Murphy of Boston, CEO of Rattle Advertising; Diane Pabich of The Salem Inn; Shawn Shea of the Salem Wax Museum; Nina Simonds; developer Alex Steinbergh of RCG; Christine Sullivan, executive director of the Enterprise Center at Salem State; and Leslie Tuttle.
Among Driscoll’s expenditures were four checks totaling $7,000 to Theresa Silva of Beverly, her campaign coordinator. Silva is the wife of Driscoll’s former chief aide Jason Silva, who ran her past campaigns.
Driscoll’s opponent, Cedric Ashley Jr., had no contributions, according to filings to date.
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.