By Neil H. Dempsey
---- — SALEM — Two of John Tierney’s competitors for the 6th Congressional District seat raised more money than he did last quarter — with Richard Tisei bringing in nearly twice as much.
Tisei, a Wakefield Republican who came within 1 percentage point of beating Tierney in 2012, raised $434,768, compared with $228,408 for Tierney, according to materials provided by the Federal Election Commission.
Tierney, a Salem Democrat, also faces two Democratic challengers. Iraq war veteran Seth Moulton of Salem raised $253,070 in his bid for the Democratic nomination, while Marisa DeFranco, a lawyer from Middleton, raised $19,247.
Tierney spokesman Daniel Rubin said one reason the congressman hadn’t raised more money was that he didn’t do any fundraising during the government shutdown in October.
“We are highly confident that John will have the resources necessary to run and win this campaign,” Rubin said. “As we move into the new year, John continues to receive strong grass-roots support from working families throughout the district.”
Ryan Gough, Tisei’s campaign manager, noted that all of Tisei’s contributions came in before the former state senator officially announced he was running, something he didn’t do until Jan. 23.
“What’s remarkable is that this response came when Richard was just exploring his bid,” Gough said. Since the announcement, he said, the campaign has raised an additional $100,000 “in just the last week.”
Nevertheless, Tierney still had dramatically more cash on hand at year’s end: $708,940, versus $394,005 for Tisei, $395,781 for Moulton, and $34,090 for DeFranco.
Daniel Mulcare, associate professor of political science at Salem State University, said Tierney’s having more money overall gives him an obvious advantage over his competition.
“The grand total is more important than what was done in quarter four,” Mulcare said.
Although early fundraising numbers give a peek at how strong a candidate’s campaign might be, he said, they don’t say much regarding his or her overall odds of winning.
“I think what it shows is whether or not you can go on to the next stage, not whether or not you’ll prove successful,” Mulcare said.
It’s also important to keep an eye on how super PACs — groups that can contribute essentially unlimited sums — might come to influence the race over the course of the election season, he said.
Notably, nearly all of Moulton’s funds — $249,813 — came from individual contributors, as did all of DeFranco’s.
Individual contributors accounted for $118,340 of Tierney’s money and $271,499 of Tisei’s.
An individual may donate up to $2,600 to each candidate or candidate committee per election, and up to $32,400 to a national party committee.