HARTFORD, CT — New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, who was able to raise more than $100,000 in her run for governor, has fallen behind her Republican competitors in fundraising for her lieutenant governor campaign.
Stewart, who needs to raise $75,000 in small qualifying contributions, had raised just $44,355 as of June 30, according to her latest report. She’s spent only about $9,000 of it and has $34,000 cash on hand.
Stewart, 31, had been running for governor until hours before the start of the Republican convention in May. At the time, she said she was disappointed to have to drop down but added that she is proud of how far her campaign had come in a short period of time.
However, none of the donations Stewart raised for her gubernatorial bid could be used in her run for lieutenant governor campaign, which meant she had to start fundraising from scratch in May.
Sen. Joe Markley the Republican Party endorsed candidate, has raised the necessary money and already received the $406,000 grant from the Citizens Election Program. Susan Bysiewicz, the Democratic Party endorsed candidate for lieutenant governor, has applied for the grant but has yet to receive it.
Markley is the only lieutenant governor candidate suing the State Elections Enforcement Commission for fining him $2,000 over the use of another candidate’s name in mailing he did with Rep. Rob Sampson in 2014. Markley claims the SEEC violated his free speech rights.
Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson, who is vying for the Republican Party nomination, and Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, who is vying for the Democratic Party nomination, believe they’ve raised the requisite $75,000 and have submitted their applications for public financing. Zimmerman didn’t decide to run for lieutenant governor until a few days before the convention, but she had a statewide exploratory committee that allowed her to count some of what she had already raised toward her candidacy for lieutenant governor.
The State Elections Enforcement Commission is scheduled to meet tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. to consider more grant applications.
In order to receive the full amount of the grant, candidates will need to be approved before July 27, according to SEEC Executive Director Michael Brandi.
The grant will begin to be reduced after that date for primary candidates based on changes approved last year by the General Assembly.