It’s no secret that the Republican Party’s fundraising efforts have been limping along for months. They were outraised 4-to-1 by Democrats in January, but things have started to look up for the minority party in a blue state.
“I am very proud to report to all of you that our fundraising in the first quarter of 2014 didn’t just beat the record, it destroyed it,” Republican Party Executive Director Elissa Voccola wrote in a memo to Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola Jr.
According to official filings, the Republicans raised $37,366 to their federal account in February and between January 1 and March 31 they raised more than $69,000 in their state account. But the biggest haul for the party came in March when it raised about $213,000. The March report has yet to be filed online, but between Jan. 1 and March 31, the Republican Party says it raised $391,000 in both its state and federal accounts and has $265,000 cash on hand.
Last year, the Democratic Party raised about $2.1 million and the Republican Party raised about $528,503.
In February the Democratic Party raised about $103,500 from individuals and the Republican Party raised about $27,598 from individuals, but $37,366 overall to its federal account.
The federal account can be used to support federal congressional candidates and administrative functions of the parties. The state account can be used to support state candidates.
While the Democratic Party continues to hold the fundraising advantage over the Republicans, the Republicans have refused to fade away.
“The vulnerabilities of Dan Malloy and Congressional Democrats have created a unique opportunity for Connecticut Republicans in 2014 which has re-energized our donor base and inspired contributors who have fallen off in recent years to invest once again in our party,” Voccola wrote in the memo.
Of the notable donors to the Republican Party in February there’s William Pape II, publisher of the Waterbury Republican American, who gave $2,000. Richard Wieland, of Redding, who ran against U.S. Rep. Jim Himes in the 4th Congressional District in 2012, gave $5,000. Charles Robert Eick Jr., a candidate for state treasurer, gave $5,000. The Republican National Committee gave $3,950, bringing its total contribution for the year up to $7,900.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus congratulated Connecticut’s Republican Party for their fundraising effort.
“Their record-breaking fundraising success has been nothing short of impressive and has far exceeded anyone’s expectations,” Priebus said in a press release. “Voters know the only way to restore fiscal sanity to Connecticut is by getting rid of Dan Malloy and his failed economic policies — and that’s a cause they’re willing to invest in.”
The Democratic Party benefited in February from a $10,000 donation from Friends of Chris Dodd PAC and Walt Disney Productions Employees PAC gave $5,000.
Neil Mellen, president of Town Fair Tire, was the only individual to give $10,000 to the Democrats federal account. Meanwhile the Democratic National Committee has given about $16,440 this year.