John Connolly’s Big Fundraising Haul Shouldn’t Come As A Surpise

No excuses, Marty Walsh. No excuses.

John Connolly’s campaign is claiming to have raised $610,000 in the first half of October—a mighty haul that seems to have taken Marty Walsh’s campaign by surprise. The Walsh folks had been touting their quarter-million-dollar take for the same period. Oops.

I don’t call him “JC Pennies” for nothing—it’s because he banks so much coin.

But, really, it shouldn’t be a surprise. There figured to be a very large outpouring of post-preliminary contributions, from contributors to the eliminated candidates, as well as people who sat out the first leg of the race.

We don’t yet have most of Connolly’s latest donor list to pore over, but it’s not too hard to imagine where much of the money is coming from.

The biggest fundraiser among the prelim losers was Dan Conley. His support comes largely from attorneys and the city’s southwest corridor. You would expect them to favor Connolly. You would also expect many of Rob Consalvo’s backers to go with Connolly (including those in East Boston, where I’m told a fundraiser co-hosted by state representative Carlo Basile and former city councilor Paul Scapicchio brought in $100,000). Mike Ross’s progressive backers might be split, but many of his downtown/Back Bay business owners who deal with city government have relationships with Connolly, and Ross’s top fundraiser signed on quickly with Connolly after the prelim. So did Charlotte Golar-Richie’s.

Meanwhile, there is a big ol’ world of business development out there, who have long contributed to Menino, who stayed on the sidelines through the preliminary—in part to avoid backing the wrong horse, and in part to avoid angering Menino. They were always likely to jump into the game once the choice came down to two, but they surely were going to jump in to oppose a staunchly pro-labor candidate.

Connolly’s lead in the polls doesn’t hurt, either. People who do business with the city want to be the last to back the winner, so they’re likely to be moved by that kind of indicator.

So, nobody should be surprised that Connolly got a big post-preliminary windfall. How much it will matter is another question entirely.