With less than three weeks until the August 12 Democratic primary, four candidates for legislative office received word Wednesday afternoon they have qualified for public funds. State Senate candidate Scott Hughes and State House candidates incumbent Christina Ayala, Teresa Davidson and Andre Baker will receive public grants under the state’s Citizens Election Program.
Hughes will receive $83,000 in his challenge of incumbent freshman Andres Ayala. Christina Ayala, Davidson and Baker will each receive roughly $28,000. Christina’s trying to fend off party-endorsed Chris Rosario, Dennis Bradley and Davidson. Baker is challenging party-endorsed Ernie Newton.
News release from SEEC:
The State Elections Enforcement Commission (the “Commission”) announced that it will make its ninth public grant payments under the Citizens’ Election Program for the August 12, 2014 primaries and the November 4, 2014 general election. The Commission determined that state representative candidates Christina Ayala (D – 128th District), Andre Baker (D – 124th District), Gary Byron (R – 27th District), Tara Cook-Littman (D – 134th District), Teresa Davidson (D – 128th District), Patricia Dillon (D – 92nd District), Doug Dubitsky (R – 47th District), Ben McGorty (R – 122nd District), Albert Natelli (R – 81st District), Frank Nicastro (D – 79th District), Jason Paul (D – 48th District), Warren Pena (D – 140th District), Chris Perone (D – 137th District), Jason Rojas (D – 9th District), Christine Rosati (D – 44th District), and David Zoni (D – 81st District) were eligible to receive Program grants. The Commission also determined that state senate candidates Mae Flexer (D – 29th District), Scott Hughes (D – 23rd District), and William Wadsworth (R – 5th District) were eligible to receive Program grants.
The Citizens’ Election Program is a voluntary program which allows qualifying candidates for General Assembly and statewide offices to receive full public financing. To qualify for public campaign financing, candidates must demonstrate they have adequate support from the public. Candidates for state representative accomplish this by raising $5,000 from at least 150 individuals residing in municipalities in their district. Candidates for state senate accomplish this by raising $15,000 from at least 300 individuals residing in municipalities in their district. Participating candidates may only accept small dollar contributions from certain individuals–the maximum contribution is $100–and no contributions from state contractors or PACs.
Grant amounts vary. Typically, primary grant amounts are $11,140 for state representative candidates and $38,990 for state senate candidates, but amounts are higher if the candidates run in districts where one major party has a large advantage in the number of electors registered with that party. In most races, general election grant amounts are $27,850 for state representative candidates and $94,690 for state senate candidates. When it is not known whether a candidate will face a primary, then the lesser applicable grant amount is awarded and later supplemented, if need be. The Commission no longer will be accepting applications from candidates for the August 12 primaries, but will accept applications for candidates in the general election until October 10th.