2018 TOWN ELECTION: Eaton Leads The Pack In Fundraising, Several Candidates Choose To Self-Fund, Some Spend Nothing

WILMINGTON, MA – Each candidate for public office in Wilmington is required to submit a pre-election campaign finance report to the Town Clerk’s Office.

Please note the following totals are as of April 10, 2018, so it is possible (perhaps likely) additional funds have since been raised and spent. Those numbers will be captured in the post-election campaign finance report due 30 days after the election.

Selectmen’s Race

Selectman candidate Jonathan Eaton raised, by far, the most amount of money of any candidate in any race.

According to Eaton’s Campaign Finance Report, he collected $3,552 in campaign contributions from 32 donors. He spent $2,864.00 in campaign expenses. Major expenses included $1,242 for lawn signs via Winbrook, $417 for a newspaper insert via VistaPrint, and $321 for renting the Wilmington Knights of Columbus Hall for a campaign rally.

Donors to Eaton’s campaign include the following public officials: Selectman Mike Champoux ($100), Selectman Greg Bendel ($50), Selectman Kevin Caira ($50), Selectman Ed Loud ($50), School Committee Chair Steve Bjork ($40), Town Moderator Rob Peterson ($50), Finance Committee Chair Theresa Manganelli ($50), Finance Committee member John Doherty ($100), and Planning Board member Randi Holland ($15).   The majority of these donations were received on March 16, which was the date of Eaton’s campaign rally.

Also of note, Eaton ($500), Eaton’s father ($500), Eaton’s former law partner & current colleague ($500), Eaton’s brother ($100), and Eaton’s sister-in-law ($100) also contributed to the campaign.

“It has been no secret that many dedicated town and community volunteers have decided to support me in becoming the next selectman. I believe that speaks to my experience, my demeanor, my involvement in the community, and my ability to thoughtfully solve problems,” Eaton tells Wilmington Apple. “While it is humbling to receive the support of town officials, by no means would that ever affect any vote that I may have as a member of the Board of Selectmen.”

According to Fasulo’s Campaign Finance Report, he did not collect money from any campaign donors.  He spent $1,206.24 in campaign expenses, including lawn signs.

School Committee Race

David Ragsdale appears to have raised the most money of any School Committee candidate.

According to his campaign finance report, Ragsdale collected $1,500 in campaign contributions — a $1,000 donation from his parents and a $500 donation he made to himself. He spent $1,220.00 in campaign expenses. Major expenses included $721.44 for postcards and posters via Connolly Printing and $401.63 for lawn signs via Connolly Printing.

According to her campaign finance report, MJ Byrnes received and spent no money so far this election cycle.

The Town Clerk’s Office did not provide the campaign finance report for Jesse Fennelly.  Fennelly tells Wilmington Apple he did submit a report, but that the Town Clerk’s Office may still be working through some questions surrounding it.

Town Moderator’s Race

According to his campaign finance report, Town Moderator Rob Peterson Jr. collected no contributions and spent $871.78 In expenses. All expenses went towards lawn signs via Connolly Printing.

The Town Clerk’s Office did not provide the campaign finance report for Kevin MacDonald. Its status is unknown.

Uncontested Races

According to their campaign finance reports, both incumbents James Gillis (Shawsheen Tech School Committee) and Robert DiPasquale (Housing Authority) collected and spent no money this campaign season. Both have no funds in their campaign accounts leftover from prior cycles.

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