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Baker boosters raise big bucks in Bay State

Governor Charlie Baker.Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff, file

The Republican Governors Association continues to collect significant donations — up to $250,000 — from some of Massachusetts’ most wealthy residents (including the wife of a cabinet official) and corporations whose interests depend on Governor Charlie Baker’s administration.

The RGA was a major funder of Baker’s 2014 victory in the governor’s race, spending about $11 million in an election he won by a razor-thin margin.

Since January, the RGA — which has paid a former Baker fundraising aide $120,000 for “consulting” since January — has raised close to $1.5 million from pharmaceutical companies, IRS records show. That sum includes $100,000 from Vertex Pharmaceuticals, of Boston, and $100,000 from Alkermes, of Waltham, during those six months.


In June, Baker unveiled his own plan for a $500 million state biotech initiative.

However, the most curious RGA donation in its latest report — $250,000 — came from a Dover woman, Denise M. Dupre, who heads a company named Champagne Hospitality.

How wealthy is she? Several years ago, she and her husband, Mark E. Nunnelly, a businessman who was Baker’s former revenue commissioner and recently made secretary of technology services and security, bought an 1872 manor house and a vineyard operation around Épernay, deep in French wine country.

According to its website, the 49-room “Royal Champagne” hotel is closed for refurbishment until the end of 2017.

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