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February 17, 2014

Fundraising bonanza follows election

Lawrence's new mayor raises $126K for his campaign, recount and inauguration

LAWRENCE — Mayor Daniel Rivera raised $126,000 in the three months following his upset victory on Nov. 5, substantially more than he raised over his entire 10-month campaign to win the office, records show.

Since defeating William Lantigua, Rivera raised $35,300 for his campaign organization, another $31,300 to hire a legal team for the recount that followed the election and $59,805 more for last month’s inaugural events, according to five separate financial disclosure forms he filed with the state.

In contrast, the new mayor raised last year $89,572 for his campaign to unseat Lantigua, his disclosure forms show.

The fundraising operation for Rivera’s campaign organization continued churning after the election, when it collected enough to more than wipe out a debt of about $5,000 with a series of mailings and fund-raisers, including a morning coffee event at the law office of Vincent Manzi in Methuen that brought in about $3,500. Rivera reported no expenses for the event, but Manzi said only Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and donuts were served.

Rivera’s campaign had a $30,703 balance on Dec. 31, the last date for which records are available.

In an interview last week, Rivera said his inaugural fund also has a surplus in the bank but would not say how much and is not required to disclose the amount. He said he’ll spend the balance on events such as the second Family Day of skating on Campagnone Common that he was scheduled to host this weekend and on other public events and causes.

Rivera said his lawyers ate up all of the $31,300 in the separate fund he established to defend against the recount Lantigua requested, which included a $31,000 donation from a single donor, William Perocchi, a former Lawrence resident who is part owner and CEO of Pebble Beach Resorts in California.

State law caps campaign contributions from individuals to a candidate at $500 a year and prohibits corporations and businesses from giving anything to political campaigns. But after elections, individuals, corporations and businesses can give unlimited amounts to so-called segregated accounts that candidates can create to pay post-election expenses such as for recounts and inaugurations.

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