Congressional hopeful Dan Koh is claiming a gargantuan fund-raising haul, scooping up more than $805,000 in his first month running to succeed retiring Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.
While his official fund-raising report isn’t due until Oct. 15, the hefty harvest of cash, which included a $50,000 contribution from the candidate, could catapult the 32-year-old Democrat into the top tier of contenders for the seat.
“Early fund-raising success proves he’ll have the critically needed resources to communicate next year,” said Democratic consultant Jesse Ferguson, a former top official at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “but it’s also proof of a broad base of support to raise this in such a short period of time.”
In a news release, Koh said, “I am humbled by the outpouring of support I have received since I announced I was exploring a run for the 3rd Congressional seat.”
While he has not yet held a public campaign kick-off event, candidates don’t raise that much money if they don’t plan to run.
Koh, who served as Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s chief of staff before launching his bid, has connections to several high-net worth circles. He is a graduate of Phillips Academy Andover, Harvard College, and Harvard Business School. Koh worked closely with Arianna Huffington at the Huffington Post. And he is well-known by the titans of industry and finance in Boston from his time as the mayor’s top aide.
Although the comparison is imperfect, when now-Congressman Seth W. Moulton was running in the Democratic primary against then-Representative John F. Tierney, Moulton raised almost $300,000 in September of 2013. Moulton, who has three Harvard degrees and served in the Marines, was (and is) also well connected to circles of wealth.
Running for an open congressional seat in 2012, Joe Kennedy III — a scion of the famed political family — raised about $500,000 in the month after his formal announcement.
Individuals can give up to $2,700 to a candidate per election, so $5,400 for the primary election and general election combined. Koh’s campaign said the full $805,000 is contributions earmarked for the primary.
Koh, who recently moved back to the district where he grew up, is among several Democrats formally running or mulling a run for the Third Congressional District. They include: State Senators Barbara A. L’Italien and Eileen M. Donoghue; Cambridge City Councillor Nadeem A. Mazen; and former Marty Meehan aide Lori A. Trahan.
The district, which runs along the New Hampshire border from Haverhill to Winchendon, and south to Marlborough and Hudson, leans Democrat.
There are Republicans in the race, too. Rick Green, a wealthy auto-parts-company executive from Pepperell, announced his bid this week.
Tsongas announced earlier this year that she would not seek reelection in 2018.