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November 10, 2013

Non-Methuen donations key for Jajuga, Grayton

Of the 14 City Council candidates on the ballot last week, two of the top three fundraisers collected the bulk of their campaign cash from donors living outside the city.

James Jajuga, who topped the ticket on election day, raised $9,220 during the campaign — the most money among council candidates. Council Chairman Sean Fountain raised $8,280 while Daniel Grayton pulled in $7,065.

But unlike Fountain, who received most of his political donations from city residents and groups, the majority of the money raised by Jajuga and Grayton came from outside Methuen.

Both Jajuga and Grayton won election in the race for three councilor-at-large seats and will join the council in January. Voters also re-elected six councilors and challenger George Kazanjian.

Candidates are required under state law to detail campaign fundraising and spending in reports that include itemized lists of all donations greater than $50. The reports list all fundraising and spending this year through Oct. 18.

Of the 52 itemized donations in Jajuga’s report, 13 are from Methuen residents and 39 are from outside the city. Grayton’s report lists 51 donations — 16 from Methuen and 35 from outside individuals or groups.

In Fountain’s report, 35 of 45 itemized donations are from Methuen individuals and groups. The 10 outside donations came from Lawrence, Haverhill, Andover, North Andover, Dracut, Seabrook, N.H., and Atkinson, N.H.

Jajuga only received $470 in donations of $50 or less, according to his report. His non-Methuen donations came from Lawrence, Haverhill, Andover, North Andover, Dracut, Tewksbury, Chelmsford, Lowell, Boston, Newburyport, Stoneham, and in New Hampshire the communities of Salem, Windham, Seabrook, Hudson, Hampton Falls and Auburn.

All together, 75 percent of donors who gave Jajuga more than $50 live outside Methuen, though several of them own or work for area businesses including Methuen Construction, Trinity Ambulance, Coady’s Towing, among others.

Jajuga said his donor list consists of friends and associates from his time working as a state trooper, state senator, the state’s secretary of public safety and the president of the Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce.

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