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April 18, 2012

Tisei edges Tierney in quarterly fund-raising

Congressman says his donations rose in response to GOP website

For the second straight quarter, Republican challenger Richard Tisei raised more money than Democratic incumbent John Tierney in the race for the 6th Congressional District.

According to federal election filings made public over the weekend, Tisei pulled in about $354,000 from Jan. 1 to the end of March. Tierney raised about $325,000 over that span.

Despite being out-raised the last two quarters, Tierney still has nearly a 2-to-1 advantage in campaign finances, thanks to a head start and money left over from previous campaigns. Tierney now has $795,000; Tisei has about $454,000.

"The big number we're looking at is the 2-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage. That's what's going to be used in the campaign," said Matt Robison, Tierney's campaign manager. "The congressman is in a very strong position."

Tisei's campaign manager, Paul Moore, could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

But Tisei, a former state senator from Wakefield who made a failed run at lieutenant governor alongside gubernatorial challenger Charlie Baker in 2010, is widely seen as the strongest competition Tierney has faced in years. Since announcing his candidacy in November, the challenger has raised about $666,000, outpacing Tierney by about $180,000 over that time, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Tisei has received a lot of attention from the National Republican Congressional Committee, which has done everything but announce that it believes the Massachusetts 6th District is fertile ground for a Republican takeover. In recent weeks, the NRCC has sent emails blasting Tierney on everything from health care to high gas prices and launched a website, howcouldtierneynotknow.com, referring to the illegal offshore gambling operation allegedly run by Tierney's brother in-law, Robert Eremian.

Tierney's wife, Patrice, pleaded guilty in 2010 to aiding and abetting her brother in filing false income tax returns that concealed the true source of his money in the gambling enterprise. Tierney has professed that neither he nor his wife knew of the family's illegal activities.

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