METHUEN — Mayoral challenger Jennifer Kannan spent nearly $31,000 heading into the final two-week stretch of the campaign — $7,000 more than Mayor Stephen Zanni, campaign finance reports show.
Kannan also raised more campaign cash than Zanni by a wide margin in 2013 — $17,456 — though Zanni began the year with a $16,000 advantage over his only challenger in the Nov. 5 municipal election.
The finance reports reveal that Zanni is raising and spending less money this year than he did in 2011, when he narrowly defeated Al DiNuccio to win the closest mayoral election in the city’s history.
The reports cover Jan. 1 to Oct. 18 and serve as the only snapshot of campaign fundraising and spending before the election. Typically, candidates file pre-preliminary reports, but there was no preliminary election this fall.
Kannan raised $43,190 and spent $30,805. Zanni, by comparison, raised $25,734 and spent $23,829. The mayor began 2013 with $16,121 in his campaign account. Kannan started with just $52.
Both candidates have loaned money to their campaigns — Zanni $13,500 and Kannan $7,420. Heading into the final two week stretch before the election, Zanni held the financial edge with an $18,025 balance to Kannan’s $12,437.
Campaign finance reports from 2011 show Zanni raised $37,425 and spent $29,576 from Jan. 1 to Oct. 21. Compared to this year’s totals, that’s a fundraising drop of $11,691 and spending drop of $5,747.
Kannan’s mayoral campaign, by comparison, has raised $5,765 and spent $1,229 more than Zanni in 2011.
DiNuccio raised just $10,279 and spent $12,267 two years ago. Also in 2011, Kannan spent $8,406 on her way to reelection as a councilor-at-large, the most among 14 council candidates.
Kannan has spent $3,843 on advertising, $3,833 on signs, $2,116 on postage, and $1,600 per month over three months for media consultant Gretchen Putnam, the former managing editor of The Eagle-Tribune.
Kannan also spent $918 on bumper stickers, signs and cards, $747 on shirts, $675 on web design, $660 on palm cards, $285 on pens, and $250 on flyers.
Zanni has spent $2,514 on advertising, $1,115 on campaign signs, $1,000 on website design, $874 on postage, $700 on “political literature” from the Massachusetts Democratic Committee, $420 on palm cards and $190 on bumper stickers.