Elec­tion fil­ings show Repub­li­can’s ef­forts to keep up in fundrais­ing took away from hit­ting cam­paign trail

Hartford Courant - - Connecticut - By Neil Vig­dor

Repub­li­can Bob Ste­fanowski matched $3.2 mil­lion from sup­port­ers dol­lar-for-dol­lar with per­sonal funds in the gov­er­nor’s race, but was bogged down in fundrais­ing up un­til the fi­nal week of his un­suc­cess­ful cam­paign, new elec­tion fil­ings show.

The for­mer UBS ex­ec­u­tive was out­spent by Demo­crat Ned La­mont $16.5 mil­lion to $6.9 mil­lion in the gen­eral elec­tion.

Ste­fanowski’s to­tal does not re­flect $7.5 mil­lion that the Repub­li­can Gover­nors As­so­ci­a­tion poured into the open-seat race, in­clud­ing a $3 mil­lion ad­ver­tis­ing blitz in the New York City tele­vi­sion mar­ket dur­ing the home stretch of the cam­paign.

Ste­fanowski’s cam­paign finance re­port, filed late Thurs­day night with the State Elec­tions En­force­ment Com­mis­sion, sheds new light on the ul­ti­mately flawed fundrais­ing strat­egy of the for­mer UBS ex­ec­u­tive.

While the RGA ex­pen­di­tures helped close the money gap with La­mont, who mostly self-funded his cam­paign, Ste­fanowski squan­dered pre­cious time dur­ing the gen­eral elec­tion dial­ing for dol­lars and at­tend­ing pri­vate fundrais­ing re­cep­tions.

In con­trast, La­mont hit the cam­paign trail in earnest and held reg­u­lar news con­fer­ences.

“It’s hard to com­pete with deep pock­ets like that,” Ste­fanowski said Fri­day. “But we were able to match the La­mont cam­paign spend­ing by rais­ing $3.2 mil­lion from over 5,000 donors, per­sonal funds and RGA sup­port. Clearly our plat­form of spend­ing cuts, lower taxes and no tolls res­onated with many through­out Con­necti­cut.”

Ste­fanowski lost by 44,000 votes to La­mont, who car­ried the state’s largest cities by a wider mar­gin than de­part­ing Gov. Dan­nel P. Mal­loy, a for­mer ri­val, did in 2014.

Ste­fanowski spent about $10.55 per vote, com­pared with $23.80 for La­mont.

In the fi­nal eight days of the cam­paign, Ste­fanowski raised $365,000, with $50,000 com­ing from the Con­necti­cut Repub­li­can Party.

Mean­while, La­mont wrote his cam­paign three per­sonal checks for a to­tal of $2 mil­lion from the end of Oc­to­ber to mid-De­cem­ber, in ad­di­tion to a $710,000 per­sonal loan to the cam­paign on Nov. 1.

Com­bined, La­mont and Ste­fanowski saved Con­necti­cut tax­pay­ers about $15 mil­lion by for­go­ing pub­lic fund­ing for their cam­paigns.

As a ma­jor party nom­i­nee who won a five-way GOP pri­mary in Au­gust, Ste­fanowski could have been el­i­gi­ble for $6 mil­lion in pub­lic cam­paign fi­nanc­ing for the gen­eral elec­tion. Con­tri­bu­tions from in­di­vid­u­als are capped at $100 for par­tic­i­pat­ing can­di­dates. By opt­ing out of the pro­gram, Ste­fanowski was able to raise up to $3,500 from i ndi­vid­ual con­trib­u­tors.

Oz Griebel, a pe­ti­tion­ing can­di­date who got 54,741 votes (4 per­cent), spent $501,418 on the race and in­curred an­other $34,513 in ex­penses. The for­mer head of the MetroHart­ford Al­liance and for­mer Repub­li­can loaned his cam­paign about $200,000.

Neil Vig­dor can be reached at nvig­[email protected]

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.