Money talks (most of the time) in mayor elections
A whopping $519,256 spent in race for Revere mayor
IN 28 CONTESTED MAYORAL RACES, the candidate who spent the most money emerged victorious 82 percent of the time, according to figures compiled by the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance.
The highest-spending race was in Revere, where incumbent Mayor Brian Arrigo spent $329,583 to defeat challenger Daniel Rizzo, who spent $189,663. Arrigo beat Rizzo by 592 votes, spending nearly $57 for each vote he received. The spending totals do not include money spent by PACs on behalf of the candidates.
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch also spent a lot of money in his race for reelection. Campaign finance records indicate he spent $236,739 to garner 9,377 votes, or $25 per vote. His main opponent, Brenda Ryan, spent nothing on the race and garnered 3,902 votes, according to campaign finance records.
In all, there were 34 mayoral elections last week. In 23 of the races, the biggest spender in the race won. In five races, the winner was not the biggest spender. And six races featured only one candidate running for office.
Three incumbents spent less than their challengers and still won. Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux spent $4,528 less than his challenger, Heather Porreca, but still won by 2,871 votes — 5,488 to 2,617. Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer spent $635 less than her challenger, Melissa Mazzeo, and won by 635 votes. And Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy spent $71,100 less than her challenger, Diane LeBlanc, but garnered 3,967 more votes.Otherwise, campaign spending was fairly lopsided in favor of winners. In 14 races, the winner’s total campaign expenditures were more than 60 percent of the total spent in the race. Rep. Shaunna O’Connell, for example, accounted for 72 percent of all the expenditures in the race for mayor in Taunton.
In the 34 mayoral races, there was a total of 99 candidates, who each averaged $28,977 in expenditures. Six of the candidates spent more than $100,000. In addition to Arrigo and Rizzo in Revere and Koch in Quincy, high-spending winners included Mayor Joseph Curtatone in Somerville ($143,858), Paul Coogan in Fall River ($105,778), and Rep. Paul Brodeur in Melrose ($100,867). Other big-spending winners included Robert Sullivan in Brockton ($96,095) and Mayor Domenic Sarno in Springfield ($93,463).