HOLYOKE – Campaign money is pouring into Holyoke, where eight candidates are vying to become the town’s next mayor in a large-scale election.
In total, Holyoke mayoral candidates have made $ 152,311 so far this year, according to figures from the state’s Campaign and Political Finance Office. Most of this money came from political donations during this period, although some candidates transferred money from their previous campaigns.
At the top of that list is At-large city councilor Michael Sullivan, who between Jan. 1 and June 30 raised $ 55,278, of which $ 20,000 came from his previous campaign account. General Councilor Rebecca Lisi raised $ 31,986 during the same period, of which $ 7,916 came from her fundraising for the previous election. William Glidden, writer and former assistant to former mayor Alex Morse, raised $ 31,929, which has been raised since February 5.
School committee member Devin Sheehan raised $ 22,814, of which $ 8,044 was from a previous account. After a late entry into the race, Joshua Garcia – the city administrator of Blandford – has raised $ 7,710 since April 29. The same goes for Gloria Caballero Roca, an academic and educator, who has raised $ 2,594 since April 30.
Two other candidates have yet to raise funds, according to state reports on campaign finance: longtime former city councilor Diosdado Lopez, who withdrew nomination papers and announced his candidacy, and the City resident Christopher Kosinksi, who has submitted nomination papers with enough signatures to appear on the September 21 preliminary ballot, but does not appear to have announced a campaign yet.
Excluding any money transferred from previous campaign accounts, as of January 1, Sullivan has raised the most money from those with addresses in Holyoke – $ 15,940, which is 45.2% of the money he raised this election cycle. Lisi raised $ 12,124 from the residents of Holyoke this election cycle, or 50.4% of her campaign donations, the highest percentage of any candidate.
Glidden collected 17.5% of his campaign donations from city residents, Sheehan 32.7%, Garcia 31.4% and Caballero Roca 42.6% from donations from Holyoke supporters.
Of those who donated to Sullivan’s campaign, retirees and business owners donated the most – $ 6,700 from each category. Those listed as “partners” in businesses donated an additional $ 1,500. Lawyers combined gave $ 1,850, developers $ 2,200 and office managers $ 1,500.
Individual donors can give a maximum of $ 1,000 per year to a candidate.
The Holyokers who gave Sullivan the maximum of $ 1,000 were: real estate developer Anthony Witman; Ralph Thompson, owner of the Russell-Zuhl furniture store; Glenn and Marilyn Shealey, developer and lawyer respectively; Steven Grande, owner of Meridian Industrial Group; retired William Labelle; and Gregory Scyocurka, Springfield School teacher. Other people who have donated the most included David Kwasnik, owner of Maryland-based PowerComm Construction Inc., and Alice DeGennaro, partner of Cambridge-based Longleaf Lumber.
Sullivan also received donations from some prominent city officials, such as $ 800 from the police sergeant. Andrew DiNapoli, $ 600 from Ward 5 City Councilor and former Republican State House candidate Linda Vacon, $ 500 from former City Council President and former Republican National Convention delegate Kevin Jourdain, and $ 225 from Ward 3 Councilor David Bartley.
Sullivan’s political benefactors tended to donate larger sums. He received 14 donations of $ 1,000, the highest number of maximum contributors of all applicants. He also received 20 donations of $ 500, 10 donations of $ 250 and 14 donations of $ 200.
Some of Lisi’s top donors come from the city’s marijuana industry, which has established a strong presence in Holyoke in recent years. Those who donated $ 1,000 were: John Toro and Justin Pagan, co-owners of the Budda Brothers cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and retailing business; and Karen Talton, CEO of Exotica Farms, who applied for manufacturing and cultivation licenses.
Other donors to the cannabis industry in Holyoke: $ 500 from Helen Gomez Andrews, CEO of retailer, grower and manufacturer The High End; $ 200 from Andrew Arens, executive at grower, manufacturer and retailer Solurge; and $ 100 from Erik William, CEO of retailer Canna Provisions.
Lisi also received $ 250 from Holyoke businessman Eric Suher, $ 500 from attorney Charles Emma, who works for the town’s law firm, and $ 100 from city councilors Gladys Lebron- Martinez and Libby Hernandez.
Lisi has been successful in attracting donations both large and small. She asked seven people to give the maximum of $ 1,000, six for $ 500 and 16 for $ 250. She also received 47 donations of $ 100, 45 donations of $ 50 and 59 donations of $ 25.
Glidden’s major donors come from across the country. Some include: $ 1,000 from Michael Luciani, CEO of Washington DC-based digital campaign The Tuesday Company, and former Hillary Clinton Michigan campaign staff; $ 970 from International Monetary Fund member Nate Vernon of North Carolina; $ 500 from New York lawyer Henry Bergman; $ 500 from Wisconsin writer Grant Moran; and $ 500 from Frank Pagliaro, of Northampton, who is a senior partner at the computational chemistry and materials science company Schrödinger.
Glidden has collected a large amount of small donations. He received 42 donations of $ 25, 42 donations of $ 50, 83 donations of $ 100, 33 donations of $ 250 – including one from former Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse – and 10 donations of $ 500.
Sheehan received a large number of donations from teachers, staff and administrators across the region, mostly in small amounts. He received $ 2,010 from school and college administrators, and $ 2,595 from teachers, educators, school committee members and other school staff. He also received a contribution of $ 1,000 from At-large Springfield City Councilor Justin Hurst and $ 30 from State Representative Jacob Oliveira, D-Ludlow.
Garcia raised $ 1,000 in donations from several contributors: Beatriz Bedoya, a teacher from Connecticut; Anthony Diaz, a Connecticut-based owner / operator at Key Food Stores Co-op; and Ralph Strom, director of C&C Auto Solutions in Holyoke.
Other major contributors to Garcia’s campaign include: $ 600 from Springfield sales agent Waynie Collado; $ 550 from Frankie Cardona, the owner of Holyoke’s Hair Hunterz Barbershop; $ 500 from Jesse Castellano of Castellano Home Improvement in Holyoke; and $ 450 from Lianexis Collazo, a retired home care coordinator from Holyoke.
Caballero Roca raised mostly small donations: $ 250 from Holyoke mental health therapist Rebecca Downing; $ 250 from Easthampton app developer Carole Oyler; $ 205 from Professor Nathanael Fortune of Smith College; and $ 200 from Smith Instructor Joyce Palmer-Fortune. She also invested $ 400 in her own campaign.
Glidden had the most donors with 228, followed by Lisi with 187, Sheehan with 132, Sullivan with 101, Caballero Roca with 32 and Garcia with 30.
Dusty Christensen can be contacted at [email protected]