The race for governor is heating up and Republican Bob Stefanowski has been raking in the donations, while Gov. Ned Lamont has only raised about $14,000. But both candidates are the biggest donors to their own campaigns.
Neither Stefanowski or Lamont are using the Citizens Election Program, which would require them to raise $250,000 in small donations to get a grant from the program. Both millionaires have decided to continue to mostly self-fund their campaigns like they did in 2018.
Stefanowski has invested $10 million of his own wealth into this year’s campaign, but according to his first fundraising report he also raised about $600,000 from 1,539 donors.
“I feel the energy and excitement around our campaign every day, everywhere I go,” Stefanowski said. “People are ready for change and they’re jumping at the chance to help in every possible way.
Lamont is also expected to self-fund his campaign, but on a pay-as-you-go basis. Lamont has already given his campaign around $1 million. Lamont self-funded in 2018 too. That year he raised about $800,000 in donations and used about $15 million of his own money to win the spot by more than 44,000 votes.
That year there was an open seat because former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy decided not to seek re-election. This year, Lamont is the incumbent.
In addition to the candidates raising money and writing themselves checks, outside political action committees are getting involved.
CT Truth PAC reported that it had raised about $1 million from David Kelsey of Old Lyme and Thomas E. McInerney of Westport. The super PAC has purchased airtime with local television stations, but has yet to post the ad on social media.
State law limits how much money an individual can give to a gubernatorial campaign and the state party. The clean election laws limit contributions to $3,500 for campaigns and $10,000 to a state party.
Super PACS can operate as long as they don’t coordinate their activities with the candidates they are supporting.
The Democratic Party got in legal trouble with election regulators several years ago when it blurred the line between contributions to federal candidates and state candidates.