Democratic Lieutenant Governor Candidate Unable To Build A Following Despite Big Spending

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Have you heard of Bret Bero?

He’s a Democrat running for lieutenant governor of Massachusetts.

And while Bero’s campaign spent more than $100,000 from June 2021 to December 2021, he has the smallest following out of any of the other lieutenant governor candidates in the race – by far.

As of Saturday, January 8, he had a following on Facebook and Twitter of fewer than 400 people combined.

Bero’s Facebook campaign account had 244 followers – his biggest following out of the two social media giants. On Twitter, both of his accounts had fewer than 100 followers. His @BretBero account had 75 followers while his @BeroBret account had 61 followers. That means he has a combined 380 followers among the three social media accounts; it’s likely even fewer unique people given that some may follow him on more than one of his accounts.

That’s the following he has after being in the race for seven months; his campaign spent $157,347.78 in that span; he raised $276,443.76, including a $200,000 loan from himself, according to the Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. None of Bero’s campaign expenditures were on Facebook or Twitter advertising.

Nero’s campaign has a far lower total of social media followers than the other three Democrats running for lieutenant governor.

State Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow), for example, has a far bigger following online. His Facebook page had about 8,500 followers as of Saturday, January 8. His Twitter account, meanwhile, had 9,854 followers. Lesser has been a state senator since 2015. Lesser spent $1,230.87 on Facebook ads in 2016; he has never used campaign money on Twitter ads, according to state records.

Fellow state Senator Adam Hinds (D-Pittsfield) also has a much larger social media following. Hinds had about 6,300 followers on Facebook as of Saturday, January 8; his Twitter account had 3,778 followers. Hinds has been a state senator since 2017. Hinds spent $2,606.09 on Facebook ads between 2016 and 2019; he has never spent campaign money on Twitter ads.

Another candidate, state Representative Tami Gouveia (D-Acton), also has a bigger following. She had about 1,700 followers on Facebook as of Saturday, January 8; her Twitter had 4,190 followers. Gouveia has been a state representative since 2019. Gouveia spent $673.45 on Facebook ads between 2018 to 2021; she also spent $171.51 on Twitter ads in 2018.

Bero even has a smaller following than state legislative candidates. For example, Hanover Republican Gary Innes, who is running for Massachusetts Senate in the Norfolk & Plymouth District, had 922 followers on Facebook as of Saturday, January 8. Innes has not spent any campaign money on Facebook ads. Meanwhile, Hanson Republican Ken Sweezey, a candidate for state representative in the Sixth Plymouth District had 624 Facebook followers – nearly three times as many as Bero. Sweezey has not spent any campaign money on Facebook ads.

Bero, 63, is a Babson College lecturer. Before being hired at Babson College, he spent nine years as the managing director of American Capital Ltd, a private equity firm. The company was sold to the investment management firm Ares Management for $4.1 billion in 2017.

Bero has never held elected office. He became a Democrat last year after having a history of donating to both Democrats and Republican candidates. He supports Medicare for all and says that he became a Democrat after the January 6 Capitol Hill riot, his campaign told NewBostonPost last year.

Bero’s campaign could not be reached for comment over the weekend or on Monday this week.


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