APNewsBreak: Coakley’s GOP rival for Mass AG skirts finance law with upstart write-in campaign

By Glen Johnson, AP
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

APNewsBreak: Mass. AG candidate skirts finance law

BOSTON — The upstart former prosecutor who won a write-in bid to be the Republican nominee for Massachusetts attorney general hasn’t reported most of the money he spent on his campaign.

James McKenna of Millbury filed records showing he spent less than $1,600 on his race. Yet in an interview with The Associated Press, McKenna estimated he spent more than triple reported.

He also says he paid for 100,000 stickers with his write-in information using his personal credit card — another apparent violation of state campaign finance rules.

Last month, the state fined former Republican gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos $70,000 for using personal and business funds to pay campaign expenses.

A campaign spokeswoman says McKenna is fixing what she calls “the easily correctable filing error.”

McKenna is on the Nov. 2 general election ballot against Martha Coakley.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

BOSTON (AP) — An upstart Republican politician has obtained nearly three times the signatures needed to mount a surprise write-in challenge to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost a U.S. Senate race to Scott Brown earlier this year.

The state’s top election official said Tuesday that James McKenna of Millbury garnered 27,711 votes in last week’s primary. The former prosecutor needed 10,000 to qualify for the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

McKenna appears to be the first candidate in Massachusetts political history to win a statewide nomination with a write-in campaign.

The Massachusetts Republican establishment failed earlier this year to find a nominee to challenge Coakley. The veteran Democrat was widely derided after Brown and the GOP won a January special election to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.

will not be displayed