AMHERST The candidates competing to become the next state representative for the 3rd Hampshire District have spent almost the same amount of money on their campaigns, though Mindy Domb has brought in nearly twice as much from individual donors as her opponent, Eric Nakajima.
During the pre-primary reporting period to the Office of Campaign and Political Finance that ended Monday, Domb’s campaign collected $38,924.06, with $36,996.99 from donors. She used $1,927.07 in out-of-pocket expenses since March 21, and spent $28,825.07.
Nakajima’s campaign collected $31,485.71 with $20,343 from donors. He has $11,142.71 in out-of-pocket expenses since Jan. 1, and spent $29,334.06.
“I’m grateful for the incredible support received in the community and the region,” Nakajima said, observing that of his 200 donors, 81 percent come from western Massachusetts, and more than two-thirds of donors live I the communities in the district. “This shows broad-based support for our campaign.”
Domb said that making donations is one way for people to connect with her campaign and build coalitions. “I’m really pleased that we have a really strong fundraising base, but more importantly a really strong volunteer base,” Domb said.
In addition to family members who have provided her resources, others who have made $1,000 donations to Domb’s campaign include University of Massachusetts Professor Sylvia Brandt, University of Connecticut law professor James Kwak, Clark University professor and Amherst resident Richard Spurgin and retired Amherst resident Sylvia Smith.
Other donors to Domb’s campaign include the committee for current state Rep. Solomon Goldstein-Rose, who endorsed Domb when he opted not to run for a second term, retired state Rep. Ellen story, Amherst Select Board member Connie Kruger, and former Amherst Select Board member Stephanie O'Keeffe, Finance Committee Member Bernie Kubiak, former Amherst School Committee Member Katherine Appy, Jones Library trustee Lee Edwards, former Amherst Finance Director Nancy Maglione, Hampshire Register of Deeds Mary Olberding, Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, former Northampton Mayor Mary Clare Higgins, Cooley Dickinson Hospital CEO Joanne Marqusee and Natalie Blais who is running for state representative in in the 1st Franklin District.
Nakajima’s largest contributions are $500 each from the Amherst Firefighters Local 1764, W.D. Cowl's President Cinda Jones and $450 from Jones Properties owner Andrew Jones.
Other notable donors to Nakajima’s campaign include several former Amherst Select Board members, including Bryan Harvey, Aaron Hayden, Nancy Eddy, Dolly Jolly and Diana Stein, as well as Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz, Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis and Glenn Koocher, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees.
The candidates differ and how their campaigns have been run, with Domb stating that she has no paid staff, though some interns have received stipends, totaling $1,495. Domb also got a $1,000 in-kind contribution from Marisa Catalina Casey for professional creative services.
“I am deeply committed to having a campaign that offers different opportunities for involvement, Domb said, noting that not everyone likes knocking on doors, or making phone calls. “I believe campaigns are their best when anyone and everyone can enter it, and find a place for themselves doing what is comfortable for them and useful for the campaign.”
Nakajima has spent $3,000 to hire Leo Maley as his campaign manager consultant, and his largest expenses have been $9,000 for Jamal Cumberbatch of Amherst and $3,135 for Dakota Desrochers of Leverett, independent contract canvassers that both are supporting the campaign but also enjoy going to neighborhoods in the communities, according to Nakajima.
Nakajima said he is using his experience as a runner-up two years ago when Goldstein-Rose won the 3rd Hampshire District seat, which covers the towns of Amherst, Pelham, and Precinct 1 in Granby
“I felt like we needed to focus on grassroots door-to-door campaigning,” Nakajima said. "In general, I can get the message out by knocking on more doors and meeting more people.”
Domb's largest expense was $9,083.85 for both print and digital advertisements with the Daily Hampshire Gazette, $3,589.32 to Hotcards of East Cleveland, Ohio for printing and mailing postcards, $3,286.95 to Connolly Printing of Woburn for lawn signs, lawn stands and campaign buttons, $1942.62 to The Research Group of Northampton for postcards and mailing, and $1,647.852 Collective Copies for various campaign literature and fundraising letters.
Aside from the paid canvassers, Nakajima’s largest expense was $7,466.75 for East Coast printing of Hingham and $2,529.07 for Collective Copies, mostly for various mailers, $1,250 for the vote builder program with the state’s Democratic Party, and $1,012.50 to Sign Rocket.com of St. Paul, Minnesota for lawn signs.
Scott Merzbach can be reached at email@example.com