Bridgeport resident David Walker, who has formed an exploratory committee for lieutenant governor, is pushing to qualify for a grant under the state’s Citizens Election Program of publicly financed races. The former U.S. Comptroller General is trying to qualify before the GOP party convention in May to place him in a stronger position as a running mate in a likely Republican primary for governor in August. State Senator John McKinney, 2010 nominee Tom Foley and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton are the top candidates for the Republican nomination.
Boughton has already chosen as his running mate Heather Bond Somers, the former mayor of Groton.
The political action group Walker helped organize, Citizens Working For A Better Bridgeport, on Monday issued an eblast invite for a fundraiser February 22, 5 p.m. at Harborview Market in Black Rock, owned by Republican City Councilman Rick Torres.
Walker supporters hope one of the leading GOP gubernatorial contenders views his background as the former chief of the U.S. Government Accountability Office as a complement to a ticket. Most GOP political operatives say the May convention endorsement will come down to McKinney and Foley, but expect an August primary. Walker having his public grant in place before the convention could better position him with McKinney and Foley. In primaries governor and lieutenant governor candidates can forge alliances, but technically run on their own. The offices run together as a ticket in the general election.
Grants for qualified CEP candidates for lieutenant governor will be $406,275 for a primary. Walker must raise roughly $75,000 in donations between $5 and $100 to qualify for the grant. Walker had toyed with a gubernatorial run himself but faced an ambitious timeframe to qualify for public financing that requires raising a labor-intensive $250,000 in small donations to achieve a public grant.
Walker is campaigning as a fiscal reformer arguing Connecticut is ranked as the state with one of the highest tax burdens per citizen and the highest liabilities and unfunded promises per taxpayer of any state.
His website is www.walkerforct.com.