Tierney raises more money than rivals in recent weeks

Representative John Tierney.
John Blanding/Globe staff/file
Representative John Tierney.

US Representative John F. Tierney, the Salem Democrat whose reelection bid is widely considered to be one of the most vulnerable, raised more money than any of his competitors in recent weeks and has $1.3 million to pour into the upcoming elections, campaign finance records show.

The incumbent raised $209,188 during the period between July 1 and Aug. 20, a time during which his leading rivals’ fund-raising pace slowed, according to campaign finance records posted by the Federal Election Commission.

His leading Democratic challenger, Seth W. Moulton, a former Marine who lives in Salem, raised $153,814, the latest filing shows, a dip from recent fund-raising periods in which he brought in more than $400,000. Moulton has $481,042 cash on hand, according to the commission.


A Tierney spokeswoman, Lauren Soltani, said he was the only Sixth Congressional District candidate who raised more than $200,000 during the filing period. Soltani said the vast majority of the contributions came through small-dollar donations, a point she cited as evidence of Tierney’s grass-roots support.

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“These results show that our campaign continues to gain momentum as we head toward the primary election,” Soltani said in a statement.

The November contest is viewed by political observers to be one of the nation’s most competitive. This past week, Tierney launched a television ad to reintroduce himself to voters — a move Soltani told the Globe had long been planned in advance of the general election. The largely biographical ad says Tierney put himself through school, working three jobs and nights as a custodian.

But the ad launch follows tough spots aired by Moulton, and an acceleration of Tierney’s outreach to potential donors in feverish online fund-raising solicitations from the candidate and leading Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank.

Tierney’s profile has been battered in recent years since his wife, Patrice, was convicted on tax charges for aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for her brother, a federal fugitive who has been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering. The issue roiled the 2012 race in which Tierney narrowly fended off a challenge from Republican Richard R. Tisei.


If he prevails in the primary, Tierney could face a November rematch against Tisei. Campaign finance records show that Tisei raised $128,775 during the most recent filing period and has $754,087 cash on hand. An independent candidate, Christopher J. Stockwell, also made the ballot for November. As of July, the last filing period for which his finance records, he had raised $2,600.

But first, Tierney has to survive the Sept. 9 primary election in which he faces uncommon competition from four other Democrats.

In addition to Moulton, he faces Marisa A. DeFranco, an immigration lawyer from Middleton who challenged Elizabeth Warren for US Senate but failed to make the ballot. She raised $4,244 and ended the filing period with $19,537 on hand.

No new filings were posted for Democrats John Patrick Devine, who had previously raised $40, or John J. Gutta of Groveland.

Stephanie Ebbert can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @StephanieEbbert