“I need your help,” pleads mayoral candidate Charlie Stallworth into the camera, a state representative and city minister leaning on his pastoral contacts and flock for money and votes.
State Senator Marilyn Moore, another mayoral contender, implored her supporters on her Facebook page to “Meet this urgent moment” at this crucial timeline to raise money.
June 30 was the second quarter deadline for the latest campaign finance reports to be filed in the Town Clerk’s office by July 10.
As we close in on our most important fundraising deadline to date, I’m counting on your help to show everyone–from the political pundits to our mayoral campaign opponents–how strong our grassroots movement is.
After Sunday’s deadline, the amount of money we have raised and the number of people who have contributed will be made public. I want to make sure our campaign looks as strong as possible on that report.
Mayor Joe Ganim’s report is expected to show something in the neighborhood of $300,000 raised to date, not a bad neighborhood for an incumbent seeking another four-year term. He’ll raise plenty more before the September 10 Democratic primary, presuming Stallworth and Moore petition onto the ballot
Moore raised about $68,000 in her first quarter report, Stallworth less than $10K.
A large chunk of Moore’s financial support came from residents of Bridgeport’s Black Rock neighborhood as well as the town of Greenwich where Moore leveraged her legislative contacts for a money draw.
While city employees, contractors, lawyers and folks seeking or doing business with the city flood the campaign coffers of incumbents, Stallworth and Moore must toil their personal contacts and regions of people not predisposed to support the incumbent. It’s a laborious process. In fundraising strength builds strength. If would-be givers believe challengers enjoy fundraising relevancy they’re more likely to write the check, in this case a personal maximum $1,000 contribution. That doesn’t mean candidates won’t seek out smaller dollar amounts, especially in Bridgeport, to show the hometown support.
Big bucks outside of Bridgeport and smaller bucks inside.
It’s a key moment because now is the time campaigns begin spending in earnest to set up a headquarters, hire paid staff, contract with consultants that handle messaging, direct mail, social media as well as other costs that could include door-to-door canvassers seeking voter signatures to land candidates on the ballot.
Oodles of volunteers matter too, but this stuff isn’t cheap. It’s the necessary evil of campaigns.