PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The striking contrast between Middle Berkshire Registrar of Deeds Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr. and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal in the most recent campaign finance reports is the "non-party" contributions (from PACs and organizations) to the race for the Democratic nomination for the 1st Mass District.
According to campaign finance reports, the incumbent, Neal, raised $158,278 in individual contributions compared to Nuciforo's $140,696. However, Neal also raised $636,700 from political action committees whereas Nuciforo has raised nothing. For the first time in the recently released quarterly reports, Bill Shein posted an income of $11,221 - all from individual donations.
The net cash — minus disbursements — for each candidate is Neal with $2.4 million, Nuciforo with $133,000 and Shein with $5,700.
In the first quarter of 2012, Neal raised $122,875, $21,625 of which came from individual donors. Nuciforo raised $42,493, all from individual donations.
The contrast is expected from Shein, who has based his platform against lobbyist influence. Shein and Nuciforo, both from the Berkshires, have recently been taking shots at the incumbent for taking those contributions. However, Nuciforo also has been criticized for taking the same type of funds during his time as a state senator.
Neal, of Springfield, is a 12-term incumbent representing the 2nd Mass District. Redistricting has placed him in the 1st Mass, which is currently represented by U.S. John W. Olver. The retiring Olver has thrown his support to longtime colleague Neal. Nuciforo, of Pittsfield, announced his intention to run for U.S. representative in 2009. Shein is a writer and activist from Alford.
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The state is holding a special election to fill the seat vacated by John F. Kerry, who has been confirmed as U.S. secretary of state.
The state primary is Tuesday, April 30. The last day to register to vote or to change party affiliation for the primary is Wednesday, April 10. Enrolled voters may only vote in their party primary; unenrolled voters may select a primary to vote in without changing their status.
The special election is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. The last day to register to vote in the election is Wednesday, June 5.
To register to vote, one must be at least age 18 by the date of the election, a U.S. citizen and a resident of the municipality in which you are voting.