Politics

Capital Source

Baker sets fundraising record for a first-year governor

Governor Charlie Baker has smashed fundraising records for a first-year governor, hauling in $2.79 million for his campaign committee since his inauguration a year ago.

His committee’s filing this week with Office of Campaign and Political Finance show it has a balance of $2.39 million after the aggressive fundraising in 2015 by Baker and the GOP state committee he controls.

His reports all year show that Baker has used the full leverage of his office to hit up contributors who depend on state government contracts, have interests in legislation on Beacon Hill, or are heavily regulated by state agencies controlled the Baker administration.

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His total take easily outpaced his former boss, Governor Paul Cellucci, who broke all records in 1999, his first full year in office, when he raised about $1.75 million. That record held until Baker came to office. Deval Patrick raised only $1.23 million in his first year as governor 2007.

The governor’s skills at aggressive fundraising were evident for the last two weeks of December, the holiday period when most political finance operations usually grind to a halt. The Baker committee collected $233,401 between Dec. 15 and the end of the month. It was his second largest two-week haul since January.

Frank Phillips can be reached at phillips@globe.com.