By Brian Messenger email@example.com
---- — Entering the home stretch of her re-election bid, U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas had $330,000 more in her campaign coffers than Republican challenger Jon Golnik, campaign finance reports show.
Finance reports released last week reveal Tsongas, D-Lowell, had $371,937 cash on hand entering October. Golnik, of Carlisle, had a comparatively slim $38,347.
The reports filed with the Federal Election Commission cover the roughly six-week period between Aug. 17 and Sept. 29. In that span, Tsongas out-fundraised Golnik $157,726 to $33,727 and outspent him $139,100 to $46,898.
One area of the campaign where Tsongas has translated her financial lead into an advantage is with television exposure. The Tsongas camp currently has three TV ads in rotation “with the possibility of more,” according to Deputy Campaign Manager Jesse Bragg.
With less than three weeks before the Nov. 6 election, Golnik has yet to air a TV ad.
“We will be releasing our final plans for ad buying in coming days,” Golnik campaign Spokeswoman Alicia Preston said Friday.
Tsongas said her across-the-board financial advantage is proof voters in the newly-formed 3rd Congressional District consider her an effective lawmaker.
“I think it just demonstrates the broad and deep support I have across the district for my re-election effort,” said Tsongas.
Tsongas was elected in 2007 to represent the 5th Congressional District, which includes Lawrence, Haverhill Methuen and Andover.
The district will change names to the 3rd District and take on several new communities beginning next year.
Golnik, who lost to Tsongas in 2010, said he’s still putting up a strong fight despite his financial disadvantage.
“We’ll have the money we need to compete in the race,” said Golnik. “We still think we’re competitive.”
Since Jan. 1, 2011, Tsongas has raised $1,373,622 and spent $906,550. Golnik raised $199,873 and spent $175,911 over that same span and also owes $105,000 in debts and loans, according to the recently filed reports.
Golnik did not announce his candidacy until December 2011. He defeated Tom Weaver of Westford in the Sept. 6 Republican primary. Tsongas ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.