Bridgeport resident David Walker, the former U.S. comptroller general, collected $72,156 in his first quarter fundraisng effort in his 2018 exploratory campaign for governor, according to his on-line filing with the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Today, July 10, is the deadline for candidates to file mandatory reports for the period ending June 30. Walker’s goal, like his competitors, is raising $250,000 in donations of $100 and less to qualify for public financing under the state’s Citizens Election Program. See Walker fundraising report here. On Monday, Walker announced the formation of a candidate committee for governor. See here.
Walker has catching up to do with some Republican candidates who have a head start on fundraising, but last week he said he was pleased with his fundraising effort considering he did not host his first event until June. One of Walker’s $100 contributors is former Congressman Christopher Shays whose Black Rock waterfront house Walker purchased in 2009 for $1,550,000 after Shays was defeated by Democrat Jim Himes in 2008.
Lamenting the tax and spend direction of the state, Walker placed a for sale sign on the Beacon Street house in October 2014, about two months after he lost a close primary for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor. The initial list price was $1,675,000. Walker took the house off the market last year. Walker recently told OIB if he qualifies for public financing “I will be the next governor of Connecticut.”
Last week Bridgeport attorney Chris Mattei announced he raised $118,344 from more than 1,000 individual donations in 10 weeks since he formed an exploratory committee for governor. It’s a significant haul for a relatively unknown candidate who was a public corruption fighter in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Mattei is rejecting money from lobbyists. See Mattei report here.
Raising the threshold dollars to receive a public campaign grant is a slog. The early money is the easiest to bring in. Some of the more established candidates for governor, as a show of strength, hope to lock in the fundraising effort by the end of the year and devote full time to campaigning. The SEEC will parcel out millions of dollars in qualifying grants after the party conventions in May 2018 prior to expected August primaries.
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, a Democrat, reports he raised $143,000 for the quarter; former Consuumer Protection Commission Jonathan Harris, a Democrat, reports $88,000 raised; former Republican congressional candidate Steve Obsitnik reports raising $201,000 over the last two filing periods combined; and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, a Republican, shows a mighty $145,000 raised.