Mayor Joe Ganim’s campaign for governor has raised a total of $524,661 with $335,569 cash on hand, according to the latest finance report filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. See fundraising report here.
Ganim has raised an average of just over $100,000 a month for the quarter finance period, a pace he must maintain to spend competitively with primary candidates that qualify for $1.2 million from Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. Ganim, as a result of his federal conviction, cannot participate in the program so he’s raising it the old-fashioned way through large-dollar donors who can contribute up to $3,500 personally.
The total campaign haul includes money transferred from his exploratory committee. When engaged, Ganim is a relentless fundraiser.
The report shows a $35,000 loan from Ganim as well as a $5,000 donation from the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee.
Among the donors who maxed out the $3,500 include city employees John Ricci, Bill Coleman, R. Chrisopher Meyer, John Gomes, Mark Anastasi, Danny Pizarro and Tom Coble. Several other city employees contributed more than $1,000. A number of lawyers, business owners and developers also maxed out the $3,500.
In a prepared statement Ganim declares, “I am humbled by the outpouring of support for our campaign of building a new Connecticut economy that works for everyone–not just the few. Let’s make our cities once again engines of economic growth, train our workers for 21st century manufacturing and technology jobs, and rebuild our transportation systems to attract new businesses and jobs for our state. We are not going to tax or cut our way out of the state’s fiscal mess. To rebuild our state’s finances, we need to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs for everyone who wants to work.”
The expense side of the report also provides a glimpse into key advisers of the campaign including political consultant Jackie James who brings some added value via political connections in New Haven that Ganim needs in his quest to receive 15 percent delegate support at the Democratic convention next month in Hartford to make the presumed August primary. In lieu of that Ganim must engage in a labor-intensive petition drive to produce roughly 15,000 signatures of Democratic electors in the state to make the ballot.
Veteran political consultant Jay Marlin who managed Ganim’s first successful mayoral race in 1991 is also a key adviser.
In the short term Ganim’s race centers on raising money, delegate hunting and preparing for a possible petition drive. Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa is trying to leverage Bridgeport’s 93 delegates with other statewide candidates to attract sufficient delegate support, especially from city delegations.
Most political observers see the Democratic side as wide open. The candidates include Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont who will self fund his race, as well as former Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, former state commissioner Jonathan Harris and Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
In the early stages of the race Lamont has picked up sizable support from organized labor. The last time Lamont and Bysiewicz ran statewide, however, they were drubbed–Lamont in a 2010 primary for governor and Bysiewicz in a 2012 primary for U.S. Senate.
The Republican side is also viewed as wide open. So the scramble continues on both sides to drum up delegates heading into the respective party conventions next month.