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Baker leads April fundraising in gubernatorial race

In April, Republican Charlie Baker raised the most money of any gubernatorial candidate, while Democrat Steven Grossman ended with the largest amount of cash in the bank, according to recent fund-raising filings with the state.

Those reports, filed with the Office of Campaign & Political Finance, show wide disparities in fund-raising among the men and women hoping to succeed Governor Deval Patrick — from one with almost $1 million in the bank to another with a negative balance.

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Baker, a former health insurance company chief, pulled in $303,000 and spent $179,000 in April, ending the month with $855,000 in the bank.

Grossman, the state treasurer and one of five Democrats in the race, raised $126,000 over the course of the month, but spent more than he took in: $154,000. He had $939,000 in the bank on April 30.

Campaign manager Josh Wolf defended the treasurer’s haul, saying in a statement, “We’re proud of our significant cash on hand advantage in the Democratic primary and the grassroots organization we’re building in every region of the state.”

Two months before the June state Democratic party convention, Grossman was one of three Democratic gubernatorial candidates to spend more than they raised during April.

Former homeland security official Juliette Kayyem raised $90,000 and spent $116,000 in April, ending with $218,000 in the bank. Spokesman Matt Patton said the campaign was spending at a rate to win, “which means investing early in grassroots organizing to compete with Beacon Hill insiders who have been campaigning for governor for their entire career.”

Biopharmaceutical executive Joe Avellone trailed the Democratic primary field in fund-raising in April, bringing in less than $1,500, spending $57,000 and ending the month with $86,000 in the bank.

In a statement, Avellone said: “We will have enough resources to be competitive in the primary. Our focus is on getting the 15 percent at the convention.”

To qualify for the Sept. 9 primary ballot, Democrats must receive at least 15 percent of the delegate vote at the party convention next month.

Attorney General Martha Coakley raised more than any of her fellow Democratic candidates in April, bringing in $172,000. But she also spent $172,000. And Coakley, who has led her party rivals by substantial margins in public polls, ended the month with $520,000 in the bank.

The fifth Democrat running, former top Obama administration health care official Donald M. Berwick brought in $126,000, spent $110,000 and had $165,000 on hand at the end of the month.

There are also three independent candidates running for governor. In April:

• Lawyer Evan Falchuk brought in $105,000, including $100,000 in contributions from himself to his campaign. He spent $68,000 and had $95,000 in the bank at the end of the month.

• Venture capital investor Jeffrey S. McCormick brought in $64,000, including a $60,000 contribution from himself to his campaign. He spent $74,000 and ended the month with $53,000.

• Evangelical Christian pastor Scott Lively’s filings were not available on the state’s campaign finance website Tuesday afternoon.

One Republican besides Baker is also seeking the state’s highest office. Mark R. Fisher, who is suing the state Republican Party for excluding him from qualifying GOP primary ballot, brought in $92,000 in April, which included a $90,000 loan to the campaign from the candidate. He spent $41,000 and had $101,000 on April 30.

The 11th and final candidate running for governor, Libertarian Larry Medolo raised $10 and spent $88, ending with a negative balance.

Meanwhile, Baker’s designated running mate, lieutenant governor candidate Karyn Polito, raised $128,000 in the month and had $355,000 in the bank.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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