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Candidate Walsh Makes Large TV Ad Buy

Martin Walsh (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

Martin Walsh (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

BOSTON — State Rep. Martin Walsh, who has raised more money than any candidate in the mayoral race, is about to flex his financial muscle.

Walsh is making his first television advertising buy of the campaign. He starts with a relatively small purchase this week and will make a substantially larger buy next week.

The campaign declined to reveal how much it will spend, but confirmed that it will invest significant sums.

Walsh spokeswoman Joyce Linehan said the campaign will air one spot, aimed at “introducing undecided voters to Marty.”

The ad, she said, will emphasize his biography, his accomplishments in the state Legislature and his work as former head of the Boston Building Trades, an umbrella group for bricklayers, electrical workers and others.

The spot will reference Building Pathways, a program Walsh founded at the Building Trades to bring women and minorities into the trades.

American Working Families, an independent political action committee supporting Walsh, features the program in one of two ads it has run on Walsh’s behalf.

The group spent $165,000 on ad buys on Aug. 29, according to the state’s Office of Campaign and Political Finance. It spent another $106,000 in early September.

The American Working Families ads have been the sole television presence for Walsh, until now.

Candidates Daniel Conley, Mike Ross and John Connolly have made the largest television buys. Rob Consalvo, Bill Walczak and John Barros have also been on the airwaves.

Walsh, who has raised $1.2 million since the start of the campaign, had $614,000 in his campaign account at the end of August.

That put him behind only Conley, the Suffolk County district attorney, who came into the race with about $870,000 and has raised $820,000 since then.

The Walsh campaign says three-quarters of its contributions have come from individual donors. But some $250,000 have come from unions.

The union donations and outside expenditures by labor-affiliated groups have brought criticism from some of Walsh’s rivals, who say he can’t be trusted to negotiate contracts with the city’s unionized workforce.

Walsh, in what one supporter calls his “Nixon to China” argument, says his labor ties leave him uniquely positioned to negotiate favorable deals for the city.

He has also argued that his State House relationships would make him a strong mayor.

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