(Updated 10:20 a.m.) Next year’s gubernatorial hopefuls hit their first fundraising reporting deadline Thursday with one candidate, Senate Republican Leader John McKinney, having more than doubled his total fundraising haul in the last nine days.
During the period that ended Sept. 30 , McKinney, the only candidate to formally declare his candidacy rather than form an exploratory committee, reported raising $33,087 from more than 350 donors.
However, his campaign issued a statement Thursday evening saying he had raised another $57,000 since Oct. 1. That brings his total to more than $90,000 from 900 donors, the campaign said. McKinney was the first of the Republican candidates to officially announce his gubernatorial bid.
In order to qualify for the state’s public campaign financing grants, gubernatorial candidates must raise $250,000 in small donations of $100 or less from at least 2,500 people. The numbers McKinney announced Thursday put him more than one-third of the way to qualifying.
McKinney said the campaign held four successful fundraising events since October began.
“The first nine days of October have been very good,” he said in phone interview.
In the report filed with the state Elections Enforcement Commission, many of McKinney’s contributors were from his home town of Fairfield, including state Reps. Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick. Rep. Mitch Bolinsky, R-Newtown, also donated.
The campaign’s statement said a majority of the total donors, including those who have contributed since Oct. 1, have been from outside McKinney’s district.
“Since I announced my candidacy for governor, I have been traveling across the state to meet with voters and listen to their concerns. I’m pleased that so many people — Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters — are responding to our message of change,” he said in the statement.
As of Sept. 30, McKinney’s campaign had spent $11,241 on campaign activity. Expenses include $2,000 on the creation and management of his campaign website, $5,000 on a New Jersey-based fundraising consultant named Tusk Productions, and $3,122 to Stratford-based company called Premier Printing and Mailing Solutions for letterheads and envelopes.
Wilton Sen. Toni Boucher, another possible contender for the Republican nomination, reported $29,662 in contributions in her first report.
Donors to Boucher’s campaign include former U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon and her husband, Vince, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment. Each donated $375.
Boucher’s campaign only spent $459 during the reporting period. Most of those expenses were bank and credit card fees. Boucher announced her candidacy on Aug. 28. giving her a little more than 30 days to raise the money.
Both Tom Foley, the Republican nominee in 2010, and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton are also exploring a run for governor. Candidates had until midnight Thursday to file their reports.
Boughton’s campaign reported raising $14,545 for his gubernatorial exploratory committee during a six week period. Boughton also is running for re-election in Danbury this November and raised about the same amount of money for his mayoral bid. Boughton, who ran for lieutenant governor in 2010, struggled with raising enough money to qualify.
“I am grateful for the generosity of my supporters,” Boughton said. “I look forward to building on this support in the weeks and months ahead as I explore a run for governor.”
Foley, who lost to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy by 6,404 votes in 2010, reported raising $30,566. He also reported spending about $16,701 on direct mail solicitations, consultants, and advertising.
Former U.S. Comptroller David Walker contributed $375 and so did former state Republican Party Chairman Herb Shepardson. A large amount of the contributions was raised over the 20-day period from the day after he announced until Sept. 30. Most came from residents with Greenwich addresses. Foley lives in Greenwich.
If he decides to use public campaign financing, only the first $100 of those donations will count as qualifying contributions.
Rep. Penny Bacchiochi, R-Stafford, who is exploring a run for lieutenant governor, reported Tuesday raising $54,000 from more than 500 donors. Bacchiochi is required to raise $75,000 from small donors in order to qualify for public financing.
“With still over a year away from the election, I’m excited with how enthused people are about my campaign and the prospect of bringing about real economic reform to our state,” she said in a statement.