As the Friday deadline looms to get on the State Elections Enforcement Commission agenda, it appears State House candidate Andre Baker has enough dough to qualify for public financing in his quest to defeat party endorsed Ernie Newton in an August 12 Democratic primary, according to his report filing. Last week, Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey lent his name and contacts at a fundraiser on Baker’s behalf. City Librarian Scott Hughes, challenging State Senator Andres Ayala, also reports reaching the threshold to qualify for public financing.
Baker’s campaign finance reports show donations from State Senator Andres Ayala, State House members Jack Hennessy, Ezequiel Santiago and Charlies Stallworth. Baker is awaiting confirmation he’ll receive a $28,000 public grant to challenge Newton. Baker must raise $5,000 in donations between $5 and $100, including 150 donations within Bridgeport, to qualify for the public cash.
Sharkey endorsed Baker last week in a campaign stop, declaring public trust is paramount in Baker’s challenge of Newton who’s barred from participating in the state’s public financing program as a result of a bill supported by Sharkey. Newton refutes state charges he falsified $500 in donations to receive an $80,000 public grant for his State Senate run in 2012. Newton is raising money outside of the voluntary public financing program.
Newton and Baker, an elected member of the Board of Education, both bring East End voter bases to the table. Newton is trying to reclaim the State House seat he occupied for more than a decade. Baker also served the East End as a member of the City Council.
Hughes, who’s challenging Ayala in a primary, also awaits word on his public grant application. His campaign filing is here.
Hughes needed to raise $15,000 in small donations to secure an $83,000 primary grant.