Campaign cash key as at-large race heats up

Yawu Miller | 8/5/2009, 5:24 a.m.

“This is the worst business cycle I remember,” said John B. Cruz III, president of Cruz Construction, who often hosts campaign fundraisers. “I don’t have the money to spend on contributions I had a year or two ago.”

Pressley aside, only two other black candidates have raised more than $20,000. Patrick administration official Tito Jackson has raised $24,130. Egobudike Ezedi, on leave from his job heading the Roxbury YMCA, has raised $25,427 (not quite the $45,000 he told the Banner he had raised in a May interview).

Ultimately, the race will hinge on which of the four candidates are able to gain the voters’ trust. Campaign funding will be a factor, but so will the number of volunteers each campaign is able to muster and how many voters each campaign is able to reach with a compelling message.

Still, the contributions can give a window into each campaign. After all, politically active Boston residents who contribute to a candidate are likely to vote for that candidate.

Arroyo campaign manager Patrick Keaney points to the large number of contributors his team has received as a demonstration of grass roots support.

“We have hundreds of donors who are giving in the $10 to $20 range,” he said. “We have a deep grassroots funding base and we’re proud of that.”

James Chisholm, Pressley’s campaign manager, points to the rapid pace of his candidate’s fundraising — $67,000 in just 10 weeks.

“We got into the race late, but people have responded to her message and candidacy,” Chisholm said.