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Patrick Kennedy Spent $66 Per Vote To Win Legislative Seat

October 13, 1988

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) _ Patrick J. Kennedy, the son of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, spent $66 for every vote he received in his successful bid for a state House seat, campaign finance reports show.

Kennedy spent $87,694 to unseat five-term Rep. John M. Skeffington Jr. in last month’s Democratic primary. All but $5,904 of that sum came from him or his family, according to the report filed Wednesday with the state Board of Elections.

Skeffington has not yet filed his report. Robert Doorley, Skeffington’s campaign chairman, said the incumbent spent between $38,000 and $40,000.

Kennedy, 21, received 1,324 votes to 1,009 for Skeffington in the district on the west side of Providence. He does not have a Republican opponent in November.

Kennedy’s pay as a state representative will be $5 per legislative day, up to a maximum of $300.

″All of our money is there and it’s all out in the open,″ Kennedy said. ″I make no secret of the fact that I have been given a lot. I hope I can be a force for good at the Statehouse.″

Kennedy said the big spending was necessary to counter Skeffington’s support from Democratic Party leaders and a last-minute advertising campaign supporting Skeffington that was paid for by the National Rifle Association.

He said $15,000 of the sum went to lawyers who pursued challenges to the registrations of about 170 voters.

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