(Updated) Questions about Mary Glassman’s fundraising in her race for lieutenant governor were raised last week by her opponent’s campaign, but it appears as though Glassman is following the new rules.
“Nothing we are hearing explains what is actually going on with Mary’s fundraising,” Nancy Wyman’s campaign spokeswoman Patty McQueen said Friday. “Mary and her campaign manager have repeatedly said she raised the necessary funds to qualify, and now she says she has yet to reach the threshold.”
But according to Chebon Marshall, Glassman’s campaign manager, both are accurate statements under the new Citizens’ Election Program rules.
Glassman, who is First Selectwoman of Simsbury, had raised enough in qualifying contributions. But she spent of that money along the way and is exercising her option to continue fundraising before officially applying for the a matching grant from CEP so that she can carry forward the full $75,000 in donations to complement the $375,000 grant.
Glassman’s campaign says it had definitively raised enough $5 to $100 qualifying contributions during the exploratory phase of the campaign.
“It is really quite clear—we surpassed the threshold to qualify during the exploratory phase,” Marshall said. “But after converting (from an exploratory committee to a candidate committee), the CEP laws allow our campaign to raise back up to $75,000. We’re doing that now and expect to apply for our grant in a couple of weeks.”
Speaking in general terms about the new Citizens’ Election Program, Executive Director Beth Rotman said there is “some potential for abuse in the exploratory phase of a campaign.”
Last week, Rotman said under the current law a candidate can wait until the last minute to declare that they are running for a specific office. By delaying their announcement, they can spend as much money as they want. But only the small dollar contributions between $5 and $100 can be transferred to their candidate committee where they will be allowed to continue raising up to $75,000, in the case of the lieutenant governor. Gubernatorial candidates must raise $250,000 in small contributions to qualify. Wyman runningmate Dannel Malloy is the only gubernatorial candidate to qualify for CEP funds so far. Malloy raised $526,000 in the exploratory phase. On the Republican side, Michael Fedele is trying to do the same.
Unlike Glassman, Wyman didn’t have an exploratory committee, so there was no transfer of funds. In just five weeks, Wyman was able to raise the $75,000 she needed in order to qualify to receive $375,000.
Glassman’s campaign said they will submit their application to the state Elections Enforcement Commission for approval sometime before the July 16 deadline.
“I’m meeting the letter of the law, which allows you to carry forward up to $75,000 into your campaign. So while I’ve met the qualifications, I’m continuing to raise small donations to bring forward the amount we’re allowed to bring under the law,” Glassman said Friday. “I plan to file when I’m ready in July.”
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who is seeking the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, never had an exploratory committee before deciding to run for lieutenant governor. He opened a candidate committee to run for governor, so the $60,000 he raised can’t be transferred to his race for lieutenant governor.
Lisa Wilson-Foley the other Republican in the race for lieutenant governor, has opted out of the CEP and there are no records available showing how much money she has raised. However, Wilson-Foley is the only lieutenant governor candidate currently advertising on television.