Democrats John Tierney and Seth Moulton each raised more money for their campaigns for 6th Congressional District seat last quarter than Republican candidate Richard Tisei, and newcomer Moulton raised more than incumbent Tierney for the third quarter in a row.
Moulton, a Salem resident hoping to unseat Tierney in the Democratic primary this year, raised $469,457 between January and March; whereas, Tierney raised $348,386, according to information released by the Federal Election Commission this week. Tisei reported raising $301,343 during the same period. Figures for Marisa DeFranco and John Devine, the other two Democrats in the race, haven’t been made available yet.
Not only did Moulton raise more, he increased the percentage by which he is raising more than Tierney. In the last quarter of 2013, Moulton raised $253,070 to Tierney’s $228,408, almost 11 percent more. Last quarter, he raised 34 percent more than Tierney.
Also interesting, Moulton increased his fundraising by 85 percent between the two quarters, and Tierney brought his up 52 percent. Tisei was the only one of the three leading candidates to raise less than during the previous quarter; his fundraising declined by more than 30 percent.
When reached for comment, Moulton emphasized that his fundraising had been almost entirely dependent on “grass-roots independent donors.” His team also said that nearly 400 of the 534 donors who gave to his campaign last quarter were doing so for the first time.
“Fundraising is the biggest challenge for a first-time candidate, and historically, it’s been the biggest challenge for veterans, because we come from a life of public service,” said Moulton, an Iraq War veteran. “I don’t have a big business network, so the fact that I’m outraising the congressman, and he’s had 18 years to develop his fundraising network, shows how eager people are for change.”
Perhaps the most dramatic difference between the last two quarters concerns Tisei’s fundraising. He raised $434,768 in the last quarter of last year, making him by far the biggest fundraiser of that period, with 72 percent more fundraising than Moulton, his nearest competitor.
But last quarter, he took third place, and Moulton raised more than he did by 55 percent.
Tisei declined to comment for this article via a spokesperson yesterday. In a press release, his campaign team said he was “outpacing his record-breaking fundraising numbers from 2012” and pointed out that he has raised about $735,000 for the campaign so far, “despite only declaring his candidacy three months ago.”
Though fundraising is an important tool to judge the viability of a candidate’s run for office, it by no means presents the whole picture; the total amount of cash a candidate has on hand is often seen as more important. As of last count, Tierney still had far more cash than his competitors, $978,718 compared to Moulton’s $651,122 and Tisei’s $569,256.
As for the fundraising issue, Tierney’s team pointed out that he raised more than Tisei for the first time ever last quarter and said that showed his campaign had momentum.
“We are pleased to have outraised Richard Tisei in the first quarter, and we are proud that we continue to have substantially more cash on hand than any other candidate in this race,” said Ryan Matthews, Tierney’s campaign manager, in a statement.
In the third quarter of 2013, Moulton raised $355,548 to Tierney’s $251,259, or 41 percent more. During the same period, Tisei, who hadn’t yet announced his candidacy, raised $158.
Moulton might lead in fundraising, but he’s also leading in expenditures. Last quarter, he spent $214,116, whereas Tierney spent $80,608, and Tisei $126,903.
Neil H. Dempsey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraising totals for 6th Congressional District seat campaigns
Candidate Q3 2013 Q4 2013 Q1 2014 Three-quarter total
Tierney $251,259 $228,408 $348,386 $828,053
Tisei $158 $434,768 $301,343 $736,269
Moulton $355,548 $253,070 $469,457 $1,078,075
DeFranco $24,866 $19,247 X X
Devine X X X X
X = unavailable or not applicable
Source: Federal Election Commission