- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - The race to replace Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was the most expensive mayoral contest in Massachusetts history.

Finalists Martin Walsh and John Connolly reported spending a total of more than $6 million during the 2013 campaign, beating the record of $4.1 million set by Menino and challenger Michael Flaherty in 2009.

Walsh alone reported spending more than $3 million, breaking the previous individual candidate spending record of $2.7 million, also set by Menino in 2009. Twelve candidates ran before the race was narrowed to Walsh and Connolly.

The report by the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance released Tuesday also said that new per-vote records were set last year.

Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria broke the individual record, spending $54.33 on his campaign for each vote he received, according to the report. The previous record of $42.40 was set by Menino in 2009.

The average spent per vote cast by all mayoral candidates statewide in 2013 was $20.96, breaking the previous mark of $16.52 in 2009.

At the other end of the scale, Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini spent the least on his campaign per vote received ($1.72) for a winning candidate in a contested rate.

The contested race with the least total spending was in Gardner, where Mayor Mark Hawke and challenger Christine Wilson spent a total of just $13,143.

Incumbents lost in five cities - Thatcher Kezer in Amesbury, Linda Balzotti in Brockton, Michael Bissonnette in Chicopee, William Lantigua in Lawrence, and Gregory Neffinger in West Springfield.

Of the five, Balzotti, Lantigua and Neffinger spent less than their challengers.

The report also found that outside groups reported spending more than $3.8 million to support Walsh and Flaherty in the Boston mayoral race, with $2.5 million spent to support Walsh and $1.3 million spent backing Connolly.

The 2013 mayoral study by OCPF is limited to candidates who were on the ballot in last year’s November elections in cities and does not include those candidates who were eliminated in preliminary elections.



OCPF Mayoral campaign report: https://www.ocpf.net/studies/mayoralstudy2013.pdf

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