Former Mayor John Fabrizi has raised just over $10,000 in a four-week period, according to campaign finance reports of his exploratory committee run for his old job. The contributions came largely from employee peers in the Board of Education, personal friends and old political alliances.
As an exploratory candidate Fabrizi’s committee can receive a maximum personal contribution of $375. The maximum personal contribution for a full-blown candidate committee is $1,000. The reporting period covers the quarter ending June 30. Fabs formed the exploratory committee in early June.
If he keeps this pace–it’s a big if–averaging $10,000 per month he’s on pace to raise about $160,000 for a Democratic primary should he choose to challenge Mayor Bill Finch next September. Finch’s political operation knows how to raise money. Finch has raised $203,000 as he prepares for a third four-year term.
Waging a competitive primary for mayor generally requires about $200,000, although former State Rep. Chris Caruso twice came close to winning Democratic primaries in 2003 and 2007 spending about $150,000.
Fabrizi will invest the campaign cash in a poll to gauge his standing with voters, survey Finch’s standing as well as how voters feel about the direction of the city. The poll will be part of the equation in his decision to form a candidate committee.
Saying he has passion for the city, Fabrizi formed an exploratory committee for mayor last month seeking to reclaim the office he occupied for nearly five years following the resignation of Joe Ganim after Ganim’s conviction on corruption charges in 2003. Bill Finch replaced Fabrizi as mayor when he did not seek a second four-year term in 2007.
Fabrizi is the first potential Finch challenger to take this step.
Mary-Jane Foster, Finch’s 2011 Democratic primary opponent, is weighing another run. Several other names are also floating, according to political operatives including Ganim, Caruso and State Rep. Charlie Stallworth, a city minister.
Fabrizi has been itching to position for his old job after Democratic party regulars prevailed upon him not to seek another term after he asked a judge to show leniency on behalf of a sexual offender who was friends with his son. Following the political fallout, a Democratic party poll showed Fabrizi could not defeat party maverick Chris Caruso in a Democratic primary so party leaders urged him not to seek reelection. They recruited Finch, then a state senator, for the job and he defeated Caruso in a tight September 2007 primary.
Fabrizi will officially retire next month as director of Adult Education.