Reeves '72 Wins Fundraising Game but Loses City Council Election

Despite finishing in eleventh place in the Nov. 5 Cambridge City Council Election, Kenneth E. Reeves ’72 outspent every other candidate, according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign & Political Finance.

Reeves has served on the Council since 1990 and, when first selected by the Council as mayor in 1992, he became the first openly gay African American man to serve as mayor of an American city.

But in the Nov. 5 election that garnered 17,743 valid ballots, Reeves received 934 votes on the first count, the 10th highest of the first count, and was defeated on the 15th count, eliminating him from the nine-person council.


This year, Reeves was the only incumbentout of the seven runningto raise more than $25,000 this year and lose. All except two of the victorious nineNadeem A. Mazen and Craig A. Kelleyraised more than $25,000.

Although Massachusetts finance laws limit personal donations to $500 per election cycle, Reeves raised about $55,000 during 2013 alone.

Reeves did not respond for repeated requests for comment throughout the campaign and after the election.

Reeves also outspent every other City Council candidate. This year, expenditures by his campaign amounted to more than $63,000. Reeves spent almost $10,000 more than he raised during 2013.

The funds from Reeves were almost evenly split between two consultants, Luis E. Cotto and JoAnna Di Tullio. Cotto received $500 per week to organize the office, volunteers, and paid phone bankers, he explained over email. Di Tullio led the social media side of the Reeves campaign and strove to build an online presence through email newsletters and networking sites.

“As Ken's traditional voter base aged, he wanted to connect with younger voters,” Di Tullio wrote in an email. “Through activating his social media channels, sending out a monthly eNewsletter to over 800 subscribers and utilizing other online communications, we reached out to the younger Cambridge voter demographic.”

—Staff writer Laura K. Reston can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @laurareston.


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