PAC tied to Baker jumps into GOP primaries
Sends mailings in support of 2 moderate Republicans
A SUPER PAC with ties to Gov. Charlie Baker is supporting two Republicans running against other Republicans in special legislative primaries on March 3.
The Massachusetts Majority super PAC reported it spent $9,350 on two separate mailings on February 10 and 18 in support of Jesse Brown of Plymouth, who is running against Bourne Republican James McMahon III for the Senate seat vacated by Republican Vinny deMacedo.
The PAC also spent $2,444 on a February 18 mailing on behalf of Republican Catherine Clark of Lunenburg, who is taking on Malena Chastain of Lunenburg in the primary for the state rep seat vacated by Democrat Jennifer Benson.
The PAC with ties to Baker has raised $955,201 since May 13 – 86 percent of the money from 25 donors – and spent just under a third of it. Last fall, the PAC supported 15 Republican and Democratic mayoral and city council candidates, 11 of whom won. Earlier this year it spent $4,879 on a mailing supporting Democrat Kate Lipper-Garabedian, who cruised to victory in a February 4 primary and is likely to go on and win the seat.
Brown, a small business owner, never ran for office previously. His primary opponent, McMahon, ran for attorney general against Maura Healey in 2018. McMahon is a big supporter of the Second Amendment and he appears to be pro-life. The pro-life group Massachusetts Citizens for Life PAC has spent $1,365 on a mailing supporting his campaign.
McMahon and Chastain could not be reached Wednesday for comment.
Gregg Lisciotti, the Leominster developer who chairs Massachusetts Majority, issued a statement saying the PAC “supports candidates who are fiscally responsible leaders, have common sense, and are bipartisan.”
Super PACs can raise unlimited amounts of money and make unlimited expenditures on behalf of candidates, but they cannot coordinate expenditures with campaigns they support. Both Brown and Clark said they first heard of the mailings by the Massachusetts Majority PAC from CommonWealth.
“Nothing’s come to my home,” said Brown. “Thanks for telling me,” added Clark.
The outlay of PAC funds for the two campaigns is significant. The cost of the PAC mailing on behalf of Clark was just a few hundred dollars less than what she has raised so far for her campaign — $2,760, of which $785 came from her and her husband.The $9,350 spent by Massachusetts Majority PAC on behalf of Brown is equal to more than a third of the $24,675 he has personally raised, and $20,000 of that total came in the form of a loan Brown made to his campaign.
Some analysts see the Massachusetts Majority PAC as an effort to support a centrist movement in Massachusetts politics, while one analyst sees it as the beginning of Baker trying to form his own party.