Nice to have campaign moolah all lined up two months from primary day. The State Elections Enforcement Commission on Wednesday awarded State Senate candidate Andres Ayala a $91,290 grant under the Connecticut Citizens Elections Program of publicly financed campaigns. Ayala, the incumbent representative from Connecticut’s 128th State House seat, is challenging incumbent Ed Gomes and party-endorsed Ernie Newton in an Aug. 14 Democratic primary.
The public funding allows the Ayala campaign to plan out the next eight weeks for an assortment of expenses: headquarters, mail pieces, bodies on the ground. Ayala met the SEEC threshold of raising $15,000 in small donations from at least 300 district residents. Newton says his campaign has begun the process to submit its paperwork for approval. The SEEC meets each week to vote on campaign applications for public money.
Gomes, who schmoozed some district voters at OIB’s 5th anniversary party Wednesday at the Black Rock Yacht & Athletic Club, is also working in earnest to raise money. Gomes got a late start in the campaign, opting not to form a campaign committee until the end of the legislative session in late May.
Raising money under the public financing formula is labor intensive, and with no contributions from state contractors, political action committees, unions or corporations. The voluntary program was designed to reduce the influence of special interests in state politics.
The 23rd Senatorial includes about 70 percent of Bridgeport and a portion of western Stratford.
He already qualifies as a ‘dough boy.”
This is important (jokes aside).
It’s important for Rep. Ayala to qualify for state funding. The money is great. It may be essential. More important is the hoop a candidate has to go through to qualify for the money. It is a local financial endorsement. This makes up–sorta–for the screw-up by Ayala and the party for not securing the endorsement. It restores some credibility to his campaign.
Similarly, qualifying for funding adds credibility to Sen. Gomes in his effort to retain his seat. I don’t think Ed will have trouble meeting that bar.
The one to watch is Ernie. Yeah, he busted his butt to secure an endorsement. It means something. It means a lot. And yeah, he has support from regular people and not just committee people in the East End and elsewhere in the district. Newton campaigns, correctly, that he should get a second chance. Now he has got to get a whole bunch of people who agree–financially–to qualify for state funding. This means there are local people who believe in Ernie and are willing to throw their dollars into the pot to try and make it happen.
State funding in and of itself will not win this primary. (I wonder if you really need those kind of bucks to run a legit primary.) This is a wacky primary. Each barrier the office-seekers successfully jump gives credibility to their effort.
Raising local money is a barrier to jump.
*** Ayala will be gaining political momentum no doubt now that the benjamin$ have been approved by the SEEC. Good Luck to him on his uphill State Senate Dem. primary battle coming this August! *** HERE HE GOES! ***