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Blais leads in spending, donations in 1st Franklin race



 Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 29, 2018

With seven candidates — which is down from nine when it began last winter — the 1st Franklin District primary race to elect a successor to veteran state Rep. Stephen Kulik has brought in campaign contributions of nearly $110,000.

Topping the list of candidates who have raised those funds is Natalie Blais of Sunderland, with $41,691 from 284 donors, including contributions from retired Congressman John W. Olver, for whom she was a legislative aide, as well as Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield of Ben & Jerry’s fame, for whom she worked as an assistant.

Blais, whose contributions also included $500 from the candidate herself, spent $24,475 during the same reporting period from Feb. 26 through Aug. 17, according to state Office of Campaign and Political Finance records.

Candidate Kate Albright-Hanna of Huntington, whose $21,990 in campaign contributions includes $15,000 in loans from herself, spent $19,127 during the reporting period.

While candidate Jonathan Edwards of Whately is shown by OCPF as raising $7,325 during in his pre-primary report through Aug. 17, an $11,309 beginning balance left from a failed lieutenant governor’s race brings his campaign total to $18,623, against which he had $4,303 in expenses.

Candidate Francia Wisnewski of Turners Falls had $13,749 in contributions during the reporting period, followed by Casey Pease of Worthington with $13,538, Christine Doktor of Cummington had $10,346, which includes a $1,000 loan to herself, and Nathaniel Waring of  Sunderland had $805 raised.