Spending on Warren-Brown race nears $78M

Saturday December 8, 2012

BOSTON -- Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown together spent nearly $78 million in their hotly-contested Senate race that ended with Warren’s victory, the latest finance reports filed by the campaigns show.

The spending total will continue to rise as the remaining campaign bills are paid.

The race was by far the most expensive political campaign in Massachusetts history and tracked as the costliest U.S. Senate race in the country in 2012.

Brown’s campaign said Friday it expects to finish with a small amount of cash. On the other hand, Warren asked supporters for a little more money earlier this week to pay off campaign debt.

Democrats wanted to regain the seat held by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy for nearly half a century, but won by Brown in a special election in 2010 following Kennedy’s death. Both parties viewed the race as a potentially pivotal one in the fight for control of the U.S. Senate.

The latest campaign finance summaries filed with the Federal Election Commission cover a period ending Nov. 26.

Warren, a Harvard Law School professor making her first run for political office, reported total campaign expenditures of about $40.5 million. Brown’s campaign reported spending more than $37 million. The Democrat’s campaign reported total contributions through Nov. 26 of about $41.2 million, significantly more than the $28.5 million raised by Brown.

The incumbent, however, started the campaign cycle with about $7 million already on hand, most of it left over from funds that poured into his campaign during the final weeks leading up to the January 2010 special election. Brown’s report also listed $460,000 in cash on hand, but the campaign said that figure will probably fall to about $150,000 or $200,000 when final bills are paid.

The Warren campaign listed more than $828,000 cash on hand as of the last reporting period. But on Wednesday, the senator-elect sent a fundraising letter to supporters asking for help paying off a debt that a campaign official estimated at about $400,000.


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