Baker outraising Coakley as governor’s race hits stretch drive

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BOSTON, OCT. 1, 2014…..First Lady Michelle Obama’s arrival on Friday to stump and raise money for gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley comes in the nick of time for the Medford Democrat, with the latest campaign finance numbers showing the Democratic ticket trailing Republican Charlie Baker and his running mate.

Baker and GOP lieutenant governor nominee Karen Polito raised just over $1 million combined in September, according to numbers provided to the News Service by the campaign. And while Baker and Polito spent more during the month than they hauled in, the GOP ticket enters the final month of the campaign for governor with $1.55 million in cash on hand.

In comparison, Coakley and her running mate Stephen Kerrigan were able to raise a combined $334,206 for the month, spending $242,295 and entering October with $266,339 in the bank. Coakley on Sept. 9 won the Democratic primary for governor over Steve Grossman and Don Berwick.

Part of what has kept the Coakley campaign financially afloat has been the support the Massachusetts Democratic Party, which has chipped in to pay for television advertising and other expenses.

The party spent over $535,000 in September from both its state and federal campaign accounts in September toward the election of Democrats in November.

The Democratic Party, which has higher contribution limits of $5,000 compared to $500 for an individual candidate, raised $635,486 in September and reports $466,483 in available cash for the home stretch of the campaign as they try to hold on to all six statewide offices.

The party also raised $280,075 for its federal account, which can be used for specific purposes in the governor’s race, and has $407,940 in that account.

Even with the support of the party and the infusion of cash from Michelle Obama’s visit on Friday, where she will headline a rally in Dorchester, and other planned events, Coakley’s advisors concede their campaign will be outraised by Baker and Polito, but will have enough financial resources to compete through the finish line on Nov. 4.

The MassGOP reported a balance of $806,410 in its state account, more than half of which was raised in September, while the Republican Party’s federal account had $127,000 after pulling in more than $300,000 last month. The party’s coordinated campaign has been designed to support Republican candidates up and down the ballot, but so far the MassGOP has not stepped in to purchase advertising for Baker.

All of the this money doesn’t even begin to account for the outside money being spent in the race by interest groups and super PACs like Commonwealth Future on behalf of Baker and the Massachusetts Independent Expenditure Political Action Committee for Coakley.

Commonwealth Future, backed this cycle by roughly $4.7 million from the Republican Governors Association, unveiled a new television ad to begin airing Wednesday that accuses Coakley of failing to step in and protect children in light of “troubling reports of abuse, neglect and loss of young lives” under the supervision of the Department of Children and Services.

Evan Falchuk, running under his own United Independent Party flag, reported raising $165,391 in September, including $150,000 of his own money put into the campaign, leaving him with $123,172 on hand.

Independent Jeffrey McCormick raised $154,902 in September, spent $166,542 and had $152,635 on hand.

Campaign finance reports for independent Scott Lively were not immediately available.

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