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.
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.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.