Chart of the Week: Where the Dorchester Race Money Came From

We break down the funds in the race to succeed Marty Walsh.

On Tuesday, Dan Hunt won the Democratic primary and de facto general election to be the new state representative from the 13th Suffolk district, which is mostly Dorchester with a smidge of Quincy attached. Hunt succeeds some obscure pol named Martin Walsh (whatever happened to that guy?).

Hunt out-raised the other four candidates combined (up to the most recent data available from disclosures through the Office of Campaign and Political Finance), taking in $118,160 of the $184,669.44 raised for the campaigns.

What I look at here is where that money came from. As you can see in this chart, less than one-quarter of all the money raised for the race came from Dorchester and Quincy:

All charts created with

All charts created with

One caveat is in order: I used the addresses provided by the contributors; most are home addresses, but some use their business address. Thus a fair chunk of the “other Boston” contributions came from downtown addresses, when the donors actually live in the suburbs (other Massachusetts).

That is especially true of Hunt, who as I’ve previously noted took in a lot of lobbyist money, as well as other downtown sources. The flip side is also true: much of Hunt’s “other Boston” money came from people who work or do business in Boston, and have a direct stake in Dorchester politics.

Because of those sources, Hunt raised a relatively small share of his money in the district, compared with John O’Toole, Gene Gorman, and Liam Curran — although he did raise more actual dollars in-district.

You can see those and other comparisons in the charts below, showing the breakdown for each of the five candidates.

Mind you, none of this constitutes a value judgment. Lots of candidates raise money from out-of-state friends and relatives, as Gorman did. Plenty of people outside Boston give to candidates such as Hunt or Paul McCann because they have legitimate interests in who wins a state rep seat.

And I apologize that I don’t have useful comparative data to show whether this race is typical or atypical of state legislative fundraising. That’s a bigger project than a Chart of the Week, I’m afraid.










David S. Bernstein
David S. Bernstein David S. Bernstein, Contributing Editor, Boston Magazine