Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, who announced her re-election bid in December, became the first statewide candidate to qualify for public financing in 2014.
On Wednesday, the State Elections Enforcement Commission approved grants for Merrill and six legislative candidates. Merrill raised $75,000 in small qualifying contributions and will receive a general election grant of $812,550. Merrill ran unopposed for the Democratic Party’s nomination.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and one of his three Republican challengers, Tom Foley, claim to have raised the necessary $250,000 in small donations to qualify, but the SEEC still needs to audit their donations before approving the money. State Comptroller Kevin Lembo also claims to have raised the $75,000 in small contributions, but has not received the grant.
The other six candidates who received their grants Wednesday included Reps. Joe Aresimowicz, Mary Fritz, Gregory Haddad, and Matthew Ritter. Republican candidates Cynthia Cartier from Guilford and Gayle Mulligan from Hebron also qualified.
Last week, the first grants were awarded to state Reps. Tim Ackert, David Baram, Robert Sampson, and Melissa Zionbron. Candidates Joseph Polletta, Mary Stone, and Emily Wilson received grants for their state representative races. Sen. Bob Duff of Norwalk was the first state senator to receive a grant.