Sanchez pulling out all the stops

Sanchez pulling out all the stops

Powerful lawmaker spending heavily in race against Elugardo

REP. JEFFREY SANCHEZ appears to be pulling out all the stops in his primary fight against political newcomer Nika Elugardo, enlisting the help of other prominent state leaders and spending more than $200,000 in campaign money.

Sanchez filed his preprimary campaign finance report Monday night at 11:04 p.m., which disclosed that he had gone on a fundraising tear this year and was pouring a lot of the money into his campaign. His fundraising push started last July, when he was named by House Speaker Robert DeLeo as chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, making him one of the most powerful lawmakers on Beacon Hill.

“This position allows me an opportunity to continue my work to help the underserved in our Commonwealth,” he told the Boston Globe at the time. “I’ve devoted my life to making sure that the most challenged had had a voice, and I want to continue that.”

The position also gave Sanchez a platform to raise a lot of money. Between July 1 and December 31 last year, he raised $110,561.  This year, through August 17, he raised another $242,632, and pumped $198,122 into his campaign. His total spending this year will easily exceed $200,000 by the primary date on September 4.

Several political insiders said the numbers were startling, given that spending in most House races runs between $40,000 and $100,000.

Sanchez is also enlisting the help of other Democrats. Attorney General Maura Healey will be joining him for a campaign event on Saturday and US Rep. Joseph Kennedy III will participate in an event on Monday. Previously, he was endorsed by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu.

The flurry of activity could mean Sanchez is nervous about Elugardo or just doesn’t want to take any chances. Whatever the cause, Sanchez is campaigning like he never has before. Indeed, he hasn’t faced a challenge in either a primary or a general election since 2010, when he easily won the Democratic primary. Prior to 2010, he had never faced an opponent in a primary or general election since he was first elected in 2002.

Prior to this year, the most Sanchez reported spending in a pre-primary report was $26,625 in 2016, when he faced no opponent.

Elugardo, a former aide to Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, is also raising significant amounts of money. She raised $26,440 last year when she launched her campaign and tacked on another $93,792 through August 17 this year.

In this year’s filing, Elugardo reported tapping 689 donors who contributed $200 or less, bringing in a total of $40,421. Sanchez had 784 donors who contributed $200 or less for a total of $107,389.

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

Sanchez had 164 donors who contributed $500 or more, for a total of $109,162. Elugardo had 53 donors who contributed $500 or more, bringing in $35,900.

In Jamaica Plain’s primary 02130 area code, Sanchez raked in 78 contributions worth $19,361. Elugardo reported 231 donations from people within the 02130 area code for a total of $24,485.

On the expenditure side, Elugardo reported seven payments of $3,000 or more (a total of $42,032) to a Hingham printing company, two campaign staffers, and a polling firm. Sanchez reported 16 payments of $3,000 or more for a total of $107,699. His payments went to staff; a telephone survey company in Washington, DC; a Philadelphia printing firm; an Arlington campaign consultant; a Boston fundraising consultant, and Boch Chevrolet for a car lease.