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Schumer swoops in to boost Markey, as key cash deadline looms

A few weeks out from a super-important fund-raising deadline, Senator Edward Markey has pulled out some big political guns as he races to raise cash.
A few weeks out from a super-important fund-raising deadline, Senator Edward Markey has pulled out some big political guns as he races to raise cash.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

A few weeks out from a super-important fund-raising deadline, Senator Edward J. Markey has pulled out some big political guns as he races to raise cash.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer was the special guest at a high-dollar fund-raiser Thursday evening to benefit Markey’s effort to hold onto his seat for another six-year term. Schumer and many other key Democratic establishment figures are backing Markey over Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III, despite ties to both men.

The event, which Markey attended, was hosted by Robert Hale Jr., chief executive of Quincy-based Granite Telecommunications, and John Fish, chairman and chief executive of Suffolk Construction.

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According to a copy of the invitation obtained by the Globe, guests who wanted to be listed as chairs of the event were asked to donate or collect $11,200 for Markey’s war chest. The title of “host” required a guest to give or raise $5,600, while a guest could be a cohost for $2,800.

Tickets to a second reception ranged from $100 to $1,000.

The hefty sums underscore the importance of the looming Dec. 31 fund-raising deadline. The final three months of the year mark the first full fund-raising quarter that Kennedy has been in the race, and the final totals showing how much each candidate was able to raise will be seen as a key viability test.

That’s especially true for Markey, who doesn’t have the same national fund-raising network that Kennedy has spent the past several years building as a in-demand surrogate for Democrats around the country.

The two candidates, who are also vying against Brookline labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan, entered the final fund-raising quarter of the year closely matched — Markey with $4.4 million in cash on hand, Kennedy with $4.2 million.

John Walsh, Markey’s top campaign aide, wouldn’t share how much cash the campaign raked in Thursday, but he said it was “a good night.”

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Among the attendees, he said, were former Massachusetts governor Michael Dukakis and his wife, Kitty.

Also on hand as part of the “host committee,” according to the invitation, were auto mogul Herb Chambers, former Carbonite CEO Mohamad Ali, and Stephen Tocco, chair of powerhouse lobbying firm ML Strategies, among close to two dozen others.


Victoria McGrane can be reached at victoria.mcgrane@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @vgmac.