By Andy Metzger
State House News Service
BOSTON -- Charlie Baker, the only candidate in the gubernatorial race who has run for the office previously, trounced the field in fundraising last month, hauling in $261,370 in October.
Democratic front-runner Attorney General Martha Coakley has not yet cracked $100,000 in monthly donations during her bid for the Corner Office.
Treasurer Steven Grossman, who has led the Democratic side in fundraising, had his best month in September, when he took in $164,770.
A News Service review also showed Coakley was outraised in October by Juliette Kayyem, former security adviser to President Barack Obama and Gov. Deval Patrick, $95,571 to $89,485.
UMass Boston political- science professor Maurice Cunningham said Baker's performance is "very impressive" compared with Grossman, who he called a "superb fundraiser."
"I think there's an enormous benefit to having been down this road before. He is a serious, formidable candidate," Cunningham said.
The same enthusiasm seems to be lacking for Democrats, he said.
"I don't see excitement on that side. And I think there's a sense that Baker's a very, very strong candidate," Cunningham said.
Candidates are required to file their November campaign-finance reports with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance by Thursday.
With less than a year until the general election, Baker is the lone Republican in the hunt. Among Democrats, Coakley and Grossman are vying with health-care executive Joe Avellone, former Obama Medicare and Medicaid appointee Don Berwick, and Kayyem, a former Boston Globe columnist and former security adviser.
On Monday, the Boston Globe reported that Republican Karyn Polito, a former state representative and 2010 candidate for state treasurer, would soon announce her candidacy for lieutenant governor. Polito plans to discuss her plans for the 2014 election cycle today in Shrewsbury.
In 2010, Patrick beat Baker 47.9 percent to 41.6 percent as former state Treasurer Tim Cahill, running as an independent, took 7.9 percent of the vote. Two independents are in the running for the open seat next year, former health-care executive Evan Falchuk, and investor Jeffrey McCormick.