It didn’t take long, one night in fact, for Democrat Steve Stafstrom to reach his fundraising threshold to qualify for public funding for the February 24 special election for State House.
He had to raise $3,750, in donations between $5 and $100 from 113 residents of Bridgeport. He did that with much room to spare at a fundraiser Tuesday night in Black Rock that included an eclectic group of political players, among them Mayor Bill Finch, former Mayor Joe Ganim and 2011 Finch challenger Mary-Jane Foster. Please, if someone has a photo of that trifecta we’ll break open the bank. Nothing like a political blackmail photo. Finch and Foster were on the guest list. Ganim decided to crash the party. Hey, if you’re gonna crash a political party, might as well be in Black Rock along the harbor.
In return, Stafstrom’s campaign will receive about a $21,000 public grant once approved by the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
Stafstrom’s uncle John Stafstrom, former Democratic town chair, has a deep Rolodex in city and state politics. Nothing like avuncular support. This frees up Steve Stafstrom to campaign, instead of dialing for dollars for the winter special election.
It appears Stafstrom’s Republican rival Enrique Torres is also well on his way to qualify for public dough. Former State House members Hector Diaz, Bob Keeley and West Side City Councilman Bob Halstead are trying to raise enough loot to wage competitive races.
Connecticut’s 129th State House District covers Black Rock, the West Side and portions of the North End and West End.