Baker super PAC returns to action
Backs Sisitsky over Spicer in Framingham mayor race
A correction has been made to this story.
THE SUPER PAC affiliated with Gov. Charlie Baker skipped this year’s preliminary municipal elections, but returned to action late last week, pouring $129,020 into 17 races, including three featuring challengers seeking to oust incumbent mayors in Framingham, Attleboro, and Amesbury.
Baker’s super PAC went silent this year, prompting speculation that the governor might be winding down his political activities. But on Monday the Massachusetts Majority PAC filed paperwork indicating it had raised $911,005 this year from 42 donors and was starting to spend it on direct mail and digital advertising in the days leading up to the final election.
Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money from individuals and corporations and can spend the funds supporting or opposing candidates as long as there is no coordination between the PAC and the campaigns.
The super PAC spent $9,900 on direct mail and digital advertising backing 76-year-old Charlie Sisitsky in his race to unseat incumbent Yvonne Spicer in Framingham. Sisitsky topped Spicer by a 2-1 margin in the preliminary election, and appears to be in a strong position to oust the first Black woman popularly elected to a mayor’s post in state history.
The PAC spent $8,589 backing Todd McGhee in his bid to oust Mayor Paul Heroux in Attleboro and contributed $4,445 for direct mail and digital campaigns promoting Republican state Rep. James Kelcourse in his challenge to incumbent Kassandra Gove in Amesbury. (This paragraph has been corrected to make clear that Kelcourse is currently a state representative.]
The initial 2021 report of the Massachusetts Majority PAC showed no involvement in the race for mayor in Boston between City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George.
The super PAC is supporting 14 incumbents – 12 mayors and two city councilors. The incumbent mayors include Carlo DeMaria in Everett ($5,530), Sefatia Romeo Theken in Gloucester ($7,384), Michael Nicholson in Gardner ($4,0770), William Sapelli in Agawam ($7,365), Donald Humason in Westfield ($9,567), Dean Mazzarella in Leominster ($8,621), Arthur Vigeant in Marlborough ($6,408), Robert Sullivan in Brockton ($14,268), Stephen DiNatale in Fitchburg ($5,815), Nicole LaChapelle in Easthampton ($4,277), Paul Coogan in Fall River ($13,477), and Scott Galvin in Woburn ($2,805).
Romeo Theken is facing a tough fight in Gloucester. She came in a distant second in the preliminary election and is trying to make a comeback to overtake City Councilor Greg Verga in the final.DeMaria is facing a challenge from City Councilor Fred Capone in Everett. DeMaria came in first in the three-candidate preliminary election, but the candidate who was eliminated is now backing Capone.
Nicholson, who is running for reelection as mayor in Gardner, is a Republican at odds with his own state party, which puts him in good company with Baker. Nicholson, who is facing a challenge this year from retired attorney Peter Sargent, last year backed Democratic Rep. Jonathan Zlotnik for reelection over his Republican challenger, prompting Jim Lyons, the head of the state GOP, to dismiss the endorsement as “classic career politician hackery.” Lyons calls Baker a RINO – a Republican in name only.