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Gonzalez, Massie get cash infusion from public financing

Candidate for Governor Jay Gonzalez.
Candidate for Governor Jay Gonzalez. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File 2018/Globe Staff

Democrats of Massachusetts, rejoice.

The party’s two gubernatorial candidates received significant infusions of cash Thursday from the state as part of Massachusetts’ optional public financing system.

Jay Gonzalez, a onetime state budget chief, received $290,363, while environmentalist and entrepreneur Bob Massie got $137,270, according to the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

Each is eligible for more public funding, depending on how much money they raise — up to about $300,000, according to OCPF director Michael J. Sullivan.

Massachusetts’ public financing system offers some public funds to statewide candidates in return for their agreeing to limits on spending. That money comes from taxpayers who decided to direct $1 from their tax liability on their annual income tax returns to the system.

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Candidate for governor Bob Massie.
Candidate for governor Bob Massie. John Tlumacki/Globe Staff/File 2018

The state matches money that eligible candidates raise in increments of up to $250. So, for example, the state would match $250 of a $500 check someone cut to Gonzalez. And it would match $75 of a $75 check someone cut to Massie.

The system is set up so that gubernatorial candidates get public funds first, with surplus money going to other statewide candidates until it runs out.

“The Jay Gonzalez campaign is strong and getting stronger,” campaign manager Kevin Ready said in a statement. “It’s thanks to the many grassroots contributors to this campaign that we are able to get matching funds from the state. We are confident we are going to have the resources we need to win this election.”

Gonzalez and Massie have agreed to a $1.5 million spending limit for the primary and are thus eligible for public funds.

At the end of last month, prior to the public cash, state records showed Gonzalez had $187,000 in the bank.

Massie said in an e-mail the new infusion “leaves us with a total bank balance for today of $168,737.51.”

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The Somerville Democrat added: “I hope you will share this information since there has been so much emphasis on how much I didn’t have. I am very proud that after 15 months of campaigning we passed successfully through more than 500 caucuses, got 20,000 signatures, and received twice the number of convention votes necessary to get on the ballot.”

Also running for governor is Springfield Republican Scott Lively, a pastor best known for his antigay views. He had $19,000 in the bank at the end of last month.

Governor Charlie Baker, who is running for reelection, had — wait for it — $8.4 million socked away as of June 30.

Baker is not participating in the public funding system.


Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com.