BOSTON Candidates for Massachusetts governor are stockpiling cash as they prepare for this year’s crowded campaign to replace Deval Patrick in the state’s top elected office.
Democrat Steve Grossman ended the year with $984,371 in his campaign account – far more cash than any other candidate – after raising $212,455 in December.
Grossman, the state treasurer and a former head of the state and national Democratic parties, has tapped a wide array of supporters to boost his totals.
Grossman also has kept down his expenses. He spent just $75,266 in December compared to the $116,919 spent by Republican Charlie Baker, who ended the year with the second-highest amount of cash in his account of any candidate – $547,116 – having raised $427,546 in December.
Baker’s campaign said that more than half of his contributions were for $200 or less.
Democrat Martha Coakley also finished strong, pulling in more than $280,422 in December. She ended the year with $455,771 in her account. Coakley also spent more in December – nearly $110,000 – than Grossman.
Other Democratic candidates ended the year with less, including Newton pediatrician Don Berwick ($182,186), former federal Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem ($142,308) and former Wellesley Selectman Joseph Avellone ($132,573).
The three also have made loans to their campaigns, including $30,000 for Kayyem, $50,000 for Berwick and $180,000 for Avellone, according to campaign finance records.
A second Republican – Shrewsbury business owner Mark Fisher – ended the year with $39,000. Fisher’s campaign is largely self-financed.
Two independent candidates – Evan Falchuk and Jeffrey McCormick – also are running.
Falchuk, a Newton resident who’s campaigning under the United Independent Party label, ended the year with a $42,239 balance, while McCormick, the founder of the venture capital investment firm Saturn Partners, had $45,265 left in his account.
McCormick has loaned his campaign $150,000 of his own money, while Falchuk has contributed $350,000 of his money to his campaign.
The push for cash will only intensify through the course of the race. Past successful campaigns for Massachusetts governor have cost upward of $6 million.
One hurdle all of the candidates face is Massachusetts’ strict campaign fundraising limits.
Individuals are limited to contributions of no more than $500 per candidate for each calendar year, forcing candidates to scramble for financial backing among the relatively small slice of the population that contributes to campaigns.
Baker’s campaign said his hand-picked running mate for lieutenant governor, former state representative Karyn Polito, has so far raised $154,631.
On the Democratic side, four candidates for lieutenant governor reported end-of-year campaign cash totals including former Lancaster selectman Steve Kerrigan ($150,256), Leading Cities president Mike Lake ($36,019), Whately Selectman Jonathan Edwards ($7,778); and Holliston resident James Arena-DeRosa ($24,941), who loaned his campaign more than $25,000.
In another closely watched race — the contest to succeed Coakley as attorney general — former Democratic state Sen. Warren Tolman ended the year with a balance of $364,947 in his campaign account compared with fellow Democrats Maura Healey, a former top deputy to Coakley, who had $190,264 in her account and Clinton state Rep. Harold Naughton, who ended the year with a balance of $57,335.
No Republicans have entered the attorney general’s race.