Candidates building their war chests

By Steve LeBlanc
Associated Press / August 16, 2009

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Candidates for next year’s governor’s race are wasting no time trying to build up their campaign bank accounts.

Republican Charles D. Baker Jr., who officially filed papers on July 26 to enter the 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial race, has already raised $24,325, all of it collected on the final day of the month.

Among the early donors were veteran GOP strategist and Massachusetts Republican National Committee member Ron Kaufman and Republican state Representative Elizabeth Poirier of North Attleborough.

Fellow Republican candidate Christy Mihos also began fundraising in July and has raised $60,728. Spokesman Kevin Sowyrda said Mihos plans to ratchet up his fundraising as the campaign heads into the fall.

Baker and Mihos have to work fast to close the fund-raising gap with the incumbent, Governor Deval Patrick. By the end of July, Patrick had $585,414, a total that is likely to soar as the campaign ramps up in earnest.

A possible wild card in the race is state Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, who is weighing a run for governor as an independent.

Cahill is no fund-raising slouch. The former Democrat ended July with $577,745 in his campaign account and another $2.3 million in a savings account for a total war chest of nearly $2.9 million.