Area candidates raise funds ahead of primary

Aug 21, 2022

As the Massachusetts primary nears, local candidates are working not only to secure votes, but to secure funds.

Of the local candidates appearing on the ballot, incumbent Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III has the biggest war chest, with $306,493.33 on hand, according to data from the state's Office of Campaign and Political Finance.

In 2022, his campaign raised $5,925 from Dartmouth residents. Last year, Quinn received a $100 donation from Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.

Meanwhile, Quinn’s challenger, former prosecutor Shannon McMahon has $5,725.04 on hand. At its peak, her campaign raised $11,677.54.

In the race to represent Dartmouth and the North End of New Bedford in the Massachusetts State House, incumbent Chris Markey currently has $19,153.70 on hand. His challenger Cameron Costa has $4,221.40 on hand.

Some of the biggest cash flow is happening among sheriff candidates Paul Heroux, Nick Bernier, and George McNeil in their bids to face-off against Hodgson in the fall.

Of the three Democratic challengers, Heroux has the biggest fundraising lead, with $62,509.10 on hand as of Aug. 17. Of those donations, nearly $20,000 are from Dartmouth residents.

Bernier, meanwhile, has $6,447.97 on hand, with $1,362.13 contributed from Dartmouth residents. At its peak, his campaign had raised $13,950.15. 

McNeil, whose campaign has largely been self-financed, has $887.51 on hand. At its peak, the campaign had raised $11,393.76.

Hodgson, meanwhile, has the biggest amount of campaign funds heading into the election. According to state data, the longtime incumbent has $250,164.28 — with $20,528.52 in donations from Dartmouth residents in 2022. 

Among Hodgson’s top Dartmouth donors include elected officials such as Select Board Vice Chair Stanley Mickelson and Planning Board Member Margaret Sweet, each donating $100.

The sheriff’s campaign funds have also been the subject of controversy, as his office was one of nine sheriff’s departments a report said had donations that “create potential conflicts of interest.” 

Hodgson is mentioned several times in the report published by Common Cause and a coalition called Communities for Sheriff Accountability, with findings that his campaign received $324,870 from numerous jail contractors between 2010 and 2021, including getting the majority of Correctional Psychiatric Services Inc. CEO Jorge Veliz’s contributions.

The Bristol County Sheriff’s office refutes the report, saying there were no conflicts of interest.

The primary election will be held Sept. 6. Early voting runs Aug. 27 through Sept. 2.