Gov. can­di­dates use fundrais­ing to high­light cam­paigns

New Haven Register (New Haven, CT) - - NEWS - By Chris­tine Stu­art CTNEWSJUNKIE.COM This story has been mod­i­fied from its orig­i­nal ver­sion. To view the orig­i­nal, visit ctnewsjunkie.com.

HART­FORD — Can­di­dates run­ning for gov­er­nor in 2018 have un­til Oct. 10 to file their re­ports with the State Elec­tions En­force­ment Com­mis­sion, but those who did well al­ready are brag­ging about their fundrais­ing hauls.

On the Demo­cratic side where there are now six can­di­dates vy­ing for the nom­i­na­tion, for­mer fed­eral prose­cu­tor Chris Mat­tei has taken the fundrais­ing lead.

Mat­tei was able to raise $104,540 be­tween the end of July and the end of Septem­ber. This comes on the heels of his strong first quar­ter show­ing when the cam­paign posted $118,344 for a to­tal of $222,884 raised in just 164 days.

Since he an­nounced his ex­ploratory com­mit­tee, Mat­tei said he has at­tended 129 events in 68 towns — or one event nearly ev­ery day.

Mat­tei said he’s not ac­cept­ing lob­by­ist con­tri­bu­tions and will make sure any who tried to give to his cam­paign get their checks back be­fore the of­fi­cial doc­u­ments are filed.

“When we file our re­port, it will con­tain zero do­na­tions from lob­by­ists,” Mat­tei said. “A few tried, but we re­turned them be­cause as someone who has spent a ca­reer tak­ing on the cor­ro­sive in­flu­ence of money in pol­i­tics, I be­lieve those who are reg­is­tered to lobby our elected lead­ers should not be si­mul­ta­ne­ously fund­ing the cam­paigns of those same of­fi­cials.”

Jonathan Har­ris, the for­mer West Hart­ford mayor and com­mis­sioner of Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion, said his cam­paign raised more than $82,000 be­tween July and Septem­ber. That brings his two quar­ters of fundrais­ing up to $170,000.

“As I travel through­out the state, it is un­mis­tak­able that the peo­ple of Con­necti­cut want an ex­pe­ri­enced, thought­ful leader who can hit the ground run­ning on day one, to tackle our prob­lems and build a bet­ter fu­ture for our state and all its res­i­dents,” Har­ris, who was ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Con­necti­cut Demo­cratic Party from 2012 to 2014, said. “When I talk with peo­ple, I share my com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ing prac­ti­cal so­lu­tions to re­spond to the se­ri­ous chal­lenges we face. And I am tremen­dously en­cour­aged by the en­thu­si­as­tic re­sponse, in big cities and small towns, from Ash­ford to West­port and com­mu­ni­ties all across our state.”

Nei­ther Mat­tei or Har­ris have filed their re­ports yet with the State Elec­tions En­force­ment Com­mis­sion.

And since both have ex­ploratory com­mit­tees, any $375 do­na­tions won’t be counted to­ward the $250,000 they need to raise to qual­ify for the ad­di­tional state grant.

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo de­cided at the end of Au­gust not to seek the gu­ber­na­to­rial nom­i­na­tion and in­stead will run for re-elec­tion . Lt. Gov. Nancy Wy­man still hasn’t made any an­nounce­ment about her in­ten­tions.

Mid­dle­town Mayor Dan Drew; Bridge­port Mayor Joe Ganim; Dita Bhar­gava, a for­mer trader and hedge fund man­ager from Green­wich; and Sean Con­nolly, the for­mer Vet­er­ans Af­fairs com­mis­sioner who only an­nounced his cam­paign ear­lier this week, have yet to an­nounce their to­tals or file their re­ports.

On the Repub­li­can side, Glas­ton­bury state Rep. Prasad Srini­vasan said he’s raised more than $254,000 for his cam­paign, which means if he’s nom­i­nated by the Repub­li­can Party at the con­ven­tion in May he will be able to re­ceive a state grant of more than $1.4 mil­lion for what likely will be a Repub­li­can pri­mary.

“I am proud of the sup­port we have be­hind our cam­paign,” Srini­vasan said. “Hav­ing reached over $250,000, we will have the re­sources needed to run a strong and ef­fi­cient cam­paign. Our state faces many chal­lenges, but I know that work­ing to­gether we can re­vive Con­necti­cut and make it pros­per once again.”

There are 10 can­di­dates on the Repub­li­can side ex­plor­ing or run­ning for gov­er­nor. None of the other can­di­dates have an­nounced their fundrais­ing to­tals and Srini­vasan’s to­tals have not been for­mally filed with the SEEC.

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