State’s public campaign finance program means candidates can spend big in November election

If they choose, Maura Healey and Kim Driscoll can empty all of their accumulated war chests in their bids for governor and lieutenant governor within the spending limits set by Democrats, officials said Monday. state campaign finances.

Gubernatorial candidates and their running mates face a $6.9 million campaign spending cap in the run-up to the general election, well above the roughly $4.7 million Healey had under the hand at the end of August, plus $50,567 than Driscoll had in September.

At least one candidate in each of the five statewide contests on the ballot this fall sought to participate in the state’s public campaign finance program, triggering the requirement for all other competitors in those races to declare self-imposed spending caps.

The biggest limit in each race becomes the limit for all candidates in that area, and in this cycle the caps in all five races have been set by Democrats.

Healey and Driscoll, as a ticket, told the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance that their self-imposed expenses would be limited to a maximum of $6.9 million. Republican gubernatorial candidate Geoff Diehl, who initially opted for the public funding system but later said he would not accept any taxpayer money for his campaign, and his running mate Leah Cole Allen will face the same limit, as did unregistered gubernatorial candidate Kevin Reed and lieutenant governor candidate Peter Everett, who also sought to participate in the public funding program.

Candidates for attorney general face a spending cap of $3 million, set by Democrat Andrea Campbell, while candidates running for auditor and secretary of state face limits of 2.5 million. million set by Diana DiZoglio and William Galvin, respectively.

The biggest cap is in the race for treasurer, where incumbent Deborah Goldberg has imposed a $10 million cap on herself in her bid for another term. Goldberg faces no Republican opponents, with unlisted candidate Cristina Crawford the only other candidate on the ballot.

The OCPF said more than $500,000 in public campaign funding, funded solely by taxpayers who contribute $1 of their annual tax obligations to the program, is available to participating candidates who have raised enough money through themselves. same to qualify.

Candidates who spend more than the established limits face fines of up to twice the overspending, plus up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail. Public funding program caps do not apply to super PACs.

Ryan H. Bowman