How much Lamont, others have spent in the 2022 election
Gov. Ned Lamont is easing into the reelection campaign, investing $210,000 of his own money in the final quarter of 2021, according to his latenight filing Monday with Connecticut regulators, the first since announcing his plans to run for a second term.
Much of the payments totaling $103,703 went to the New York-based Democrat connected Global Strategies Group Inc., a consulting firm that billed more than $66,000 to conduct statewide polling of the governor, according to the filing with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
“Governor Ned Lamont is laser focused on governing — not on politics — and delivering strong, steady leadership to keep our state moving forward,” said Dan Morrocco, manager for the Lamont campaign. “Governor Lamont’s focus is on continuing his best-in-thenation COVID response — securing millions of COVID tests, encouraging vaccines and booster shots for Connecticut families, keeping our schools open and safe, and ensuring our economy remains strong.”
During an unrelated news conference Tuesday afternoon, Lamont was asked about the expenditures, but declined comment.
“I’ve got the political guys, they’re out there doing their own thing,” he said. “I’ve really got to focus on the state right now. That’s going to be 100-percent of my focus. We’ve got a legislative session coming up. We’ve got a lot of infrastructure money. We’ve got a lot on our plate. That’s going to be my focus.”
During the 2018 campaign, Lamont — whose family wealth dates back to a great grandfather who was a top aide to the New York banking legends J.P. Morgan and his son — spent $15.9 million of his personal funds to win the governor’s race by 44,372 votes over Bob Stefanowski, a former business executive. Lamont has not taken a salary while in office.
Lamont’s filing, which beat the midnight deadline, came hours after Themis Klarides, the Republican former state House of Representatives minority leader, filed financial documents indicating she has invested about $400,000 of her own money in the first months of the campaign, including about $200,000 between Oct. 1 and the end of 2021, the quarter covered in the mandatory filing.
Klarides has spent $198,085, with an additional $12,429 in unpaid expenses, according to the filing.
While most of her consultants, like Lamont’s, are out of state, Klarides’ campaign paid $10,000 to the Garber Group of Hartford. Led by Ross Garber, a lawyer and CNN commentator who has represented governors in at least four states, is best known for being the attorney for John G. Rowland in the months before he resigned the governor’s office during the historic impeachment investigation in 2004.
In other filings that were due before midnight Monday, Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz raised more than $111,000, nearly all of which came from individuals under the state’s public-financing guidelines limiting contributions to $250. Bysiewicz, who has spent $12,618, is the only lieutenant governor candidate who has filed for the 2022 race.
The Republican and Democratic conventions will likely be scheduled for May. In 2018, Mark Boughton, then the longtime mayor of Danbury, won the Republican convention nomination for governor, but Stefanowski, who front-loaded his campaign with $2 million in early spending, won the primary along with running mate Joe Markley, who was then a Republican state senator.
In the competition to fill the vacancy of departing Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, two Democrats and two Republicans are on track to seek the nomination.
First-term state Rep. Stephanie Thomas, D-Norwalk, has raised $32,336 and spent $2,007, while Rep. Hilda Santiago, D-Meriden, reported $13,980 in contributions and no expenditures. Among Republicans, Brock Weber, of New Britain, reported a total of $52,445 in contributions, while spending $31,477. Dominic Rapini, of Branford, has raised $47,311 and spent $24,889.
No potential candidates have filed for state treasurer, although Treasurer Shawn Wooden is widely expected to seek reelection. The same is true for attorney general, although Attorney General William Tong, a Democrat like the other constitutional officers elected in 2018, is also expected to announce for reelection.
In the wake of the sudden resignation of State Comptroller Kevin Lembo last month amid health concerns, only Mary M. Fay, a West Hartford Republican who serves on the town council there, filed initial documents on Jan. 4, with no further financial details.
Among those exploring the possibility of campaigning for a spot in the 2022 under ticket, state Sen. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, has raised $42,275 and spent $788. State Rep. Josh Elliott, D-Hamden, has raised $21,588 and spent $5,609, according to the filings for exploratory committees.