Gubernatorial candidate, former State Sen. and Eastie resident Ben Downing hit a major fundraising milestone this week.
Downing, a progressive democrat who announced his candidacy for Massachusetts Governor on February 8, raised his first $100,000 in one week according to campaign filings. Downing, who served as a State Senator from Western Mass but now lives in Eastie with his wife and two sons, said he was excited by the support since his announcement earlier this month.
“These are good numbers,” said Downing Monday. “The exciting thing was there were no lobbyists donations, no super pac donations so it’s all real…real voters donating.”
Downing said so far the donations have poured in from friends, family and political supporters. “It’s just exciting to see people who you know write a $10 check or $100 check,” said Downing. “But whether it’s a $10, $100 or $1,000 check it’s people saying they think it’s time for a fair and stronger Massachusetts, I was really excited to see the reaction to my candidacy.”
While easily raising the first $100,000 feels good Downing admits there’s a lot of hard work ahead no matter who throws their hat into the ring for next year’s election.
“It takes time and I’m not blind to how much of an uphill climb it is,” said Downing. “Gov. Baker still has a sky high approval ratings but based on the calls, whether it’s fundraising calls. political calls, outreach calls or just talking with people about what they’re seeing day to day–people are hungry for something different. People are hungry for us to take on big challenges and be able to execute day to day.”
In the end Downing said he’s been able to start garnering support in every corner of the state.
“We’ve got supporters from Cape Cod to the Berkshires so I’m excited about continuing to build off of that base,” said Downing.