Baker PAC spends more backing GOP candidates
Total over last 2 months tops $900,000
A SUPER PAC with close ties to Gov. Charlie Baker poured another $373,000 into state races over the last several days, nearly all of it to support Republicans.
The latest expenditures bring the Massachusetts Majority PAC’s total spending over the last two months to $901,760, a sum that suggests the governor is worried that a flood of Democratic voters will turn out next Tuesday with the potential to swamp Republicans whose numbers are already small on Beacon Hill.
The biggest beneficiary of the super PAC’s spending was Republican Norfolk County Sheriff Jerry McDermott. The PAC spent $167,148 on his behalf in his race against Democrat Patrick McDermott.
The PAC spent $74,023 in support of Stephanie Fattman, the Republican register of probate in Worcester County, who is facing a challenge from a former employee, Democrat John Dolan III.
The PAC did not support Republican Sen. Dean Tran, who is facing a challenge from political newcomer John Cronin. Cronin has hammered Tran for losing his leadership position and being barred from his office for using State House staff to do campaign work. The PAC also didn’t support Sen. Bruce Tarr, a Gloucester Republican who is running unopposed.
Baker’s PAC in the past has spread its financial support around among Republicans and Democrats. But in recent days the PAC has focused nearly all of its resources on Republicans. The only Democrats to receive support were Thomas Hoye Jr. of Taunton, who is running for register of probate in Bristol County (the PAC spent $49,071 backing him) against Independent Melanie Layden, and Rep. Gerald Parisella of Beverly ($3,125), who is facing a challenge from independent Euplio Marciano of Beverly.
Hoye is the former mayor of Taunton, who stepped down when Baker nominated him for the register of probate job, creating a vacancy that then-Rep. Shauna O’Connell, a Republican, filled, with help from Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito.The officials who run Baker’s PAC don’t discuss their decisions about whom to support, but in the past the PAC has backed moderate candidates from both parties. While that remains generally true, many of the candidates the PAC supported in recent days have views on some social issues that are different from the governor.
For example, Sens. Fattman and O’Connor are both rated pro-life by Massachusetts Citizens for Life, as are a number of state rep candidates the PAC supported, including Reps. Fred Barrows of Mansfield, Donald Berthiaume Jr. of Spencer, Nicholas Boldyga of Southwick, David DeCoste of Norwell, Paul Frost of Auburn, Sheila Harrington of Groton, Marc Lombardo of Billerica, and Mathew Muratore of Plymouth.