Republican Jason Perillo, who was nominated by Shelton’s Republican Town Committee to succeed the late Rep. Richard Belden, will become the first candidate to qualify for public campaign financing.

Perillo, the 30-year-old Shelton Alderman, raised $3,750 and is now qualified for $18,750 in public funds for the special election on Oct. 9.

It’s ironic a Republican candidate would be the first to qualify for such funds since the Republican Party has been largely against public campaign financing.

Minority Leader Lawrence Cafero, R-Norwalk, said in a press release Wednesday that he still has mixed feelings about the taxpayer-financed rules. He said that “the public will now get to see how their money is used for political purposes.”