June 23, 2021
The super PAC backing City Councillor Andrea Campbell in the Boston mayoral race went up with a TV ad this week as part of an effort to boost her name recognition.
“We believe that when voters hear Andrea’s authentic Boston story, they will be more likely to vote for her in September,” the chair of the “Better Boston” super PAC said in a memo to donors on Wednesday.
The memo, which was obtained by the Reporter, says the 30-second TV spot will air during the summer on broadcast and cable, in addition to a series of digital ads that started running earlier this month. The TV ad, titled "Personal," is available here.
Campbell, a Mattapan resident and Gov. Deval Patrick’s former deputy legal counsel, is one of six major candidates running for mayor. The others are Acting Mayor Kim Janey, former City Hall economic development chief John Barros, City Councillors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George, and state Rep. Jon Santiago.
The “Better Boston” super PAC has pulled in $776,000 in donations, according to its most recent publicly available campaign filing. Super PACs, often backed by wealthy donors and unions, are able to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money. They are restricted from coordinating with the campaigns they support.
Sonia Alleyne, a Dorchester resident and former Santander Bank executive, is chairing the super PAC. The memo said Makeeba McCreary and Michelle Sanchez are joining her atop the outside group. McCreary was appointed the chief of learning and community engagement at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts in 2018, while Sanchez serves as the principal of the Epiphany School, a private school in Dorchester, and was involved with the Bridge Boston Charter School in Roxbury.
“Together, we’ve worked to build a wide base of support for Andrea Campbell’s candidacy from both local activists--a majority of our donors are women from the greater Boston area--and individuals around the country,” Alleyne wrote. “We are fired up to support Andrea because she understands the urgency of breaking cycles of inequities across health, education, and criminal justice on a deeply personal level--and knows how to get it done.”
Alleyne wrote that “it’s too early in the race for polls to be predictive,” noting many voters remain undecided.
“Many Boston voters aren’t tuned into the fact that there’s even an election happening again this fall,” she wrote. “In a crowded, wide-open race, polls at this point are more often just a litmus test for name recognition––and can change dramatically in the closing months of a race as voters get to know the candidates.”
Alleyne’s memo namechecks Ayanna Pressley, the former Boston councillor at-large who toppled longtime Congressman Michael Capuano in 2018, and Rachael Rollins, who won the Democratic primary for Suffolk County district attorney that same year. The memo said those contests saw "lesser-known, progressive Black women candidates ascend to the top of the field in the very last few weeks of their campaigns."
“We believe Andrea’s candidacy can follow a similar trajectory,” Alleyne wrote. “That’s why it is so important — and notable — that Better Boston is early to the airwaves helping to introduce Andrea’s powerful personal story to Boston voters.”
The super PAC’s donors include charter school backers and executives like Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, who contributed $125,000. Other donors include Andrew Balson, a former Bain Capital executive ($125,000); Stig Leschly; former Amazon.com executive and CEO of charter school operator Match Education, ($100,000); former state judge Nonnie Burnes ($100,000); and Jonathan Kraft, president of the New England Patriots ($25,000).