Since leaving the U.S. Justice Department and entering elected politics, the current Mayor of New Bedford has built a fundraising machine without local rival.

Jon Mitchell launched his campaign in 2011 for mayor with a loan from himself to his campaign. He loaned his campaign about $50,000 in the crucial moments of his first attempt to win an election.

That was money well spent. He defeated two well-established candidates that year. State Representative Tony Cabral and City Councilor Linda Morad were both well funded and much better known at that time than the man who would defeat both of them.

The candidate who had to loan his own campaign money doesn't have to do that anymore. As of the last filing date at the Office of Campaign and Political Finance, Mayor Mitchell's committee has raised nearly $700,000 and has nearly $200,000 in cash on hand.

To be exact, it is $698,737.62 from 3,481 contributions of varying amounts since 2011. The number of contributors isn't 3,481 because some people have given more than one time to the mayor since he opened his account with the state campaign finance office.

He has received $89,000 in contributions of $1,000, the legal maximum amount an individual can contribute to a candidate in an election. He and his organization have been able to identify and convince 89 individuals to write a single check for $1000, and that is impressive.

He has found 372 contributions from individuals willing to write a one-time check of $500 to $999 since 2011. Those contributions add up to $188,711.88 for his committee.

Mayor Jon Mitchell is a focused and driven competitor. He understands the importance of money in politics and he isn't going to let anybody beat him in this public metric of support.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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