BOSTON — People who live outside Massachusetts may not be able to vote in November’s state elections, but they will influence the choice of the next governor.
Out-of-state money is flowing into the race to replace outgoing Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat who is not seeking a third term. Candidates are taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from lawyers, lobbyists, party activists and corporate interests across the country.
Overall, more than one in six dollars of the $10.3 million in contributions to the governor’s race have come from out of state, according to filings with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
State law caps campaign contributions at $500 a year per individual. Candidates cannot accept money from individuals in other countries, but they are allowed to take money from other states.
Campaigns for five Democrats, two Republicans and three independents in the governor’s race defend the out-of-state contributions as proof that they have fundraising prowess and nationwide support.
Democratic frontrunner Martha Coakley, the state’s attorney general, has banked nearly $353,000 in out-of-state contributions since entering the race last September, according to her campaign finance filings. That’s about a quarter of the $1.4 million she has collected to date.
Outside Massachusetts, Coakley’s contributions come mostly from supporters in New York, California, Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida. She has received money from each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. She got a check for $500 from the owner of a real estate firm in Puerto Rico.
Coakley’s campaign spokeswoman Bonnie McGilpin points out that she’s also collected the endorsements of a number of national groups including EMILY’s List, which helps Democratic women who are pro-abortion, which has sparked out-of-state fundraising.
“There are people across the country that support Martha’s vision of expanding fairness, opportunity and equality,” McGilpin said.