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Connolly raises more than $600,000 early in October

Councilor John R. Connolly has reaped more than $600,000 in campaign donations during the first two weeks of October, more than double the amount raised by his opponent during the period, as the race enters the pivotal weeks before the Nov. 5 election.

The Connolly campaign secured about 1,900 donations for a total of $610,491 between the first of the month and Tuesday, while state Representative Martin J. Walsh’s campaign brought in $252,355 from 972 contributions, according to numbers the campaigns provided to the Globe.

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“We’ve been raising money at a break-neck pace,” Connolly said Wednesday. “I’ve got five fund-raisers today, and we’ve got a pace like that right up until the end of the campaign.”

As both campaigns furiously spend money ahead of the general election, Connolly has more than twice as much cash on hand, with $663,000 in the bank compared with Walsh’s $230,000.

Connolly’s October haul, more than he raised during any previous month since launching his mayoral bid in February, puts him on pace to top Walsh in monthly fund-raising for the first time since May.

Despite the wide disparity thus far in October, both candidates have raised about the same amount — around $1.2 million — since the beginning of July.

Campaigns have several days after each campaign-finance deadline to report the details of donations, so the numbers released Wednesday do not indicate the names, occupations, or residency of donors.

Officials with the Walsh campaign rejected any notion that their opponent is gaining fund-raising momentum, suggesting instead that Connolly might be benefiting from donors who chose to wait until the general election to cut checks.

“How does a candidate raise so little money each month for each of the last three months, and then raise more than $600,000 in 15 days?” said a senior Walsh campaign official, who did not want to be named discussing the opponent’s fund-raising.

Walsh campaign officials also noted that they remain on track to hit their monthly goal of raising $500,000.

Connolly attributed his spike in fund-raising to his campaign’s ability to attract donors who previously supported candidates who were eliminated in the preliminary race. He noted that his team now includes fund-raisers from the campaigns of Michael Ross — who was one of the preliminary race’s top fund-raisers — and Charlotte Golar Richie.

“A lot of supporters of other candidates have come over to me,” he said. “It’s not just dollars. These are a lot of Boston residents who translate into votes.”

Officials in several of the former campaigns believe Connolly has inherited a significant chunk of the fund-raising muscle of the failed campaigns of Ross, Rob Consalvo, and Daniel F. Conley.

The Connolly campaign believes the successful fund-raising push will help counteract the financial support Walsh is getting from special interest and labor groups.

The role of independent expenditures — money spent on behalf of the candidates by unions, political action committees, and other interest groups — in the race has been a point of contention.

Connolly, who benefited from about $60,000 in outside money during the preliminary race, called for both campaigns to sign a people’s pledge in which both candidates would ask outside groups not to spend money on their behalf and would give a matching donation to charity in the event that any group did.

Walsh slammed the proposal as a gimmick, and has seen outside groups spend more than $1 million on his behalf since the beginning of the race.

“We’re going to need every single dollar,” Connolly said on Wednesday.

“My opponent has more than $1 million in outside money so far. I’m going to need every dollar I can raise.”

Wesley Lowery can be reached at wesley.lowery@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @WesleyLowery.
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