Neal, Morse still gaining donations in primary fight

  • Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, left, and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield. GAZETTE FILE PHOTOS

  • Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse, left, and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield. GAZETTE FILE PHOTOS

Staff Writer
Published: 8/25/2020 6:44:49 PM

SPRINGFIELD — With less than a week until election day, campaign cash continues to flow into the 1st Congressional District, where Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, D-Springfield, in the Democratic primary. 

The campaign contributions are disclosed on forms that campaigns are required to submit to the Federal Election Commission when they receive donations or loans over $1,000 within 20 days of an election, and within 48 hours of receiving that money. Voters head to the polls in the district on Sept. 1, though mail-in and early voting is already underway.

Most of the money disclosed in recent filings has been raised by Neal, who has pulled in at least $118,600 since Aug. 15, much of it from large corporations. Those donations include contributions from the political action committees, or PACs, of fossil fuel, pharmaceutical, agricultural and medical companies. 

Late donors to Neal’s campaign include utilities and energy companies, who gave $25,500 in total. They include: Southern Company, DTE Energy, Pacific Gas and Electric, NextEra Energy, CMS Energy, Dominion Energy, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, AES Corp., Edison International; Duke Energy and Dominion Resources.

Others giving to Neal late include Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer; agricultural interests such as Syngenta, the National Corn Growers Association and the National Association of Wheat Growers; and health care interests including the medical transit firm Global Medical Response, the American College of Radiology Association, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, the American Ambulance Association, the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association, the National Association of Rehabilitation and U.S. Radiology Specialists.

Morse has pulled in $55,260 since Aug. 16 and has pledged not to take money from corporate PACs. His campaign cash continues to come from individual donors, though those donating late in the race are making much larger contributions than usual. That money came from 31 individual donors, who gave an average of $1,783.

Among those giving the maximum $2,800 to Morse were UMass Amherst professor Sigrid Miller Pollin; Paul Egerman, the CEO of the medical transcription company eScription; Brianna Wu, the executive director of the progressive super PAC Rebellion; William Kurach, a systems integrator at the New York-based company Belmont Electrical; Laurence Lebowitz, a Boston investment manager at LHL Investments; Northampton’s Asaf Pollin-Galay and Hannah Pollin-Galay; David Elsberg, a managing partner at the New York law firm Selendy & Gay; and Weston-based retiree Joanne Hofheimer-Egerman.

Morse also received a $2,800 donation from Marlena Sonn, the president of Amazonia Wealth Management, a New York City firm that works with “progressive, Ultra High Net Worth millennials, women, inheritors, and family offices to align their wealth with their values,” according to its website.

The 1st Congressional District includes all of Berkshire County, all of Hampden County except for one precinct in Palmer, and parts of Hampshire, Franklin and Worcester counties.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at


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