Sciortino Closer Than Appears

Three pols have been raising money for a congressional campaign in Ed Markey's district, under the somewhat presumptuous assumption that Markey will soon be elected US Senator. They are state senators William Brownsberger and Katherine Clark, and state representative Carl Sciortino.

All three released some fundraising numbers soon after the end of the quarterly reporting period. Clark announced that she raised $261,000; Brownsberger declared $256,000; and Sciortino claimed $155,000.

All three are impressive, given the short period (they opened their federal accounts in February) and the fact that the election for which they are raising money doesn't actually exist. Not knockout, field-clearing numbers, but very impressive starts.

Turns out, not quite as impressive, now that Brownsberger and Clark have actually filed their quarterly FEC reports.

You see, the individual contribution limit is $2600 for the primary campaign. Donors can give another $2600 for the general-election campaign, but that money must be tucked away until after the primary.

Don't get me wrong — getting someone to cough up five large for your currently mythical congressional special election is worth bragging about. But in this particular case, in this particular district, the winner of the Democratic primary could start the general election with an empty bank account, and probably a long CORI sheet for that matter, and still be assured a minimum 65% of the vote over the Republican opponent, if any.

Turns out, by my calculations, Clark took in $39,000 of general-election-only contributions, and Brownsberger's haul included $50,300.

Sciortino's report is not in yet, but his campaign says that they accepted no contributions above the $2600 primary limit.

This means the primary warchest contest, as I have it, stands at Clark $222,879; Brownsberger $206,362; Sciortino ~$155,000. That puts Sciortino in a more competitive light.

Clark's report, by the way, is chock full of the kind of names that lead you to believe that she'll be adopted by a number of critical institutional segments of Massachusetts Democratic politics (for good or ill). Some of the bold-faced names (in Massachusetts political circles) in her filing: Chet Atkins, Steve Baddour, Robert Beal, Beth Boland, Nonnie Burnes, Ann Clarke, Ben Clements, Martha Coakley, Cheryl Cronin, John Fish, Shanti Fry, Roland Goff, Deb Goldberg, Avi Green, Patrick Guerriero, Robert Emmett Hayes, Swanee Hunt, Philip Johnston, Carol Kanin, Andrea Kramer, Thomas P. O'Neill III, George Pillsbury, Jeevanadhar Ramapriya, Vincent Shanley, and Gregory Torres. Good friends to have.

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