“I helped him with his campaign; that was actually my first foray into politics was helping hold signs for him,” Gray said of Tisei. “So I went to him and he was great.”
The expenditures for each candidate varied widely as well, with Gray’s funds going primarily toward campaign-related activities while Kezer’s were mainly used for campaign infrastructure and advertising.
Specifically, Kezer’s campaign spent $250 to help put on a St. Patrick’s Day lunch fundraiser at the Link House in Salisbury, $275 to sponsor the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce’s golf tournament and boat cruise, $125 for membership and advertising from Whittier Home Association, and $220 for website design and Internet service hosting.
Gray, conversely, has spent $904.97 on yard signs, $604.99 on palm cards and $62 on a post office box. He also has a $771.32 liability for a loan he took out from himself.
Even with a week to go before the preliminary election, the funds raised and spent in this year’s election have already eclipsed the totals of each of the past three mayoral races.
In 2011, Kezer spent $1,836 on his campaign, compared to the $1,626 spent by his challenger, Planning Board member Ted Semesnyei. Kezer also outraised former City Councilor Allison Lindstrom $3,225 to $595 in the 2009 mayoral election, and $2,870 to $994 in 2007.
The candidates still have a long way to go before they can approach the totals raised in the 2005 mayoral election, when Kezer was first elected to office. That year, Kezer spent $10,120, and his opponent, Tom Iacobucci, spent $16,368.