SALEM — Congressman John Tierney started his bid for re-election with a $188,000 advantage over Republican challenger Richard Tisei, but Tierney’s campaign war chest took a big hit during the hotly contested race.
Now Tierney is reaching out to supporters, asking for money to beef up his campaign account even before being sworn into his ninth two-year term today.
After spending nearly $2.2 million over the course of the race, his account shrank to less than $21,000, according to campaign finance reports.
Tierney beat Tisei by less than 1 percent of the vote last November, after a bruising campaign in which he was outspent and dogged by a gambling scandal involving his wife and brothers-in-law.
“In 2012, our campaign raised more money than we ever have,” Tierney wrote in an email sent last week. “We now need to rebuild our campaign coffers and show strength early in 2013.”
Tierney wrote that Republican Tea Party leaders made him ‘‘their No. 1 target in 2012’’ and won’t hesitate to try again. “We can send a strong message that the 6th District is not Tea Party country and is certainly not for sale,” he wrote.
Outside groups spent more than $3.5 million to support Tisei or attack Tierney, while $1.6 million was spent by outside groups supporting Tierney and opposing Tisei.
The race drew national attention, as the GOP viewed this as an election it could win.
Drew Russo, finance director for Tierney’s campaign, said Tierney is continuing to raise money for the next election, like many other congressmen across the country.
“Voters in our communities spoke in November and sent John Tierney back to Congress to fight for their shared priorities,” Russo said in an email to the Times’ sister paper, The Salem News. “Congressman Tierney is committed to that responsibility and as always will ensure he has the resources available in 2014 to continue to serve our families.”