LAWRENCE – Mayor Daniel Rivera raised $47,365 in campaign contributions last year, bringing his total fundraising during his 2013 campaign and his first year in office to $307,000 and making him one of the region's most formidable fundraisers, the financial disclosure report he filed this week shows.
Although Rivera was not on the ballot last year, his fundraising came close to the $55,884 that former Mayor William Lantigua, state Rep. Marcos Devers and City Councilor Roger Twomey raised combined in their campaigns for Devers' Statehouse seat, which was the most contested race in the city in 2014 and one of the most contested and high-profile Statehouse battles in Massachusetts.
Rivera's campaign organization began 2014 with $30,703 in the bank and spent $32,795 by Dec. 31, leaving him a balance of $45,272 at year's end, his disclosure report shows. He said Wednesday he expects to seek a second term as mayor in three years, but said he is focused on his job, not a campaign that would be three years off. Nevertheless, he held two fundraisers last year, at Sal's Restaurant in June and at the Elk's Club in December.
“We've had a lot to pay for,” Rivera said about his fundraising and spending over the last two years. “A big campaign against an incumbent mayor, fighting for every vote in the recount. We had a great inauguration. Finally, we had a good year (last year). People want to be supportive of us.”
Rivera's fundraising includes $206,000 raised for his campaign organization and $31,000 raised for legal fees and other expenses during the recount that followed the 2013 mayoral campaign, when Rivera defeated Lantigua by 81 votes. Rivera raised another $71,000 for his inaugural events, which included a ball at the Elks Club.
The inauguration cost $32,000, leaving the account a balance of $39,000. Rivera said he donated all of that to the Latino STEM Alliance, which teaches science, technology, engineering and math to inner-city Latino youth, including robotics at Lawrence High School and the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club.
Rivera's donors last year included a mix of other politicians, city contractors, labor unions, business people and civic leaders. Among them were city councilor Marc Laplante ($50); Rivera's wife, Paula Rivera ($100); Francis and John Coady ($740, total), owners of Coady's Towing; Charles Daher ($400), owner of Commonwealth Motors; Brian Farrell ($250), an owner of the Claddagh Pub; Evelyn Friedman ($100), executive director of the Greater Lawrence Community Action Council; the Lawrence Teachers Union ($500); former state Treasurer Steven Grossman and his wife, Barbara ($1,000 total); and UMass Lowell Chancellor and former U.S. Rep. Martin Meehan ($500).
Several top employees at Lawrence General Hospital, including president Dianne Anderson ($500) and vice president Denise Palumbo ($500), gave a total of $2,350. Rivera recently awarded the hospital the city's ambulance contract.
Rivera's expense report shows he was generous with his constituents, who received gifts from the campaign totaling $1,567. Constituents received Red Sox tickets ($218), liquor ($586), flowers ($633) and items from Home Depot ($150). Rivera also spent $1,501 for holiday cards.
He also spent $5,021 for the two fundraisers, $900 to rent offices for his transition team at Everett Mills for about two months and sent $100 checks to several other candidates, including Councilor Laplante; Pavel Payano, the city school committeeman who ran unsuccessfully for state senator in a Democratic primary; and Barbara L'Italien, who won the primary and then the Senate seat.
The financial disclosure reports filed late Tuesday show that State Rep. Devers and former Mayor Lantigua closely matched each other in fundraising and spending, although Devers' fundraising picked up in the months just before and after the election as Lantigua's faded.
Devers raised $26,106 in all of last year, almost half of it between Oct. 18 and Dec. 31, the period covered by the reports. He had just $72 in the bank on Dec. 31.
Lantigua raised $23,765 in all of last year, including just $6,310 in October, November and December. He had $18,104 in the bank. He did not return a phone call Wednesday seeking to learn if he would be using the balance to fund another campaign.
Twomey was never in the running for the 16th Essex Statehouse seat, in either the race for cash or votes, his financial report and election night tally show. He raised just $6,013, about half of that in donations from himself, and lent his campaign another $18,100. He had $3,007 in the bank Dec. 31 and said Wednesday he has not decided whether he would run for another term as an at-large city councilor this year.
Devers won the Statehouse race with 46.9 percent of the vote in the election on Nov. 4. Lantigua received 41.2 percent of the vote. Twomey received 11.7 percent.
To view the financial disclosure reports, log on to the website for the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance, at www.ocpf.us