By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ With the election for governor a little more than a year away, there is a close race in Connecticut to raise campaign contributions among Republicans considering running for the office.
Three of the four major contenders each raised about $30,000 as of Sept. 30. They are Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield, Greenwich businessman Tom Foley and Wilton Sen. Toni Boucher.
The fourth, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, raised $14,545.
McKinney, who has officially declared his candidacy, said Friday that his campaign has actually raised $90,000 after holding four additional fundraising events since Oct. 1. He must raise $250,000 in small contributions of $100 or less to qualify for public campaign financing.
“I’m pleased that so many people _ Republicans, Democrats and independent voters are responding to our message of change,” McKinney said.
Foley, Boucher and Boughton have each formed exploratory committees and have said they plan to seek public financing if they ultimately to decide run for governor.
Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has not yet said whether he plans to seek a second term.
State records show Foley, the GOP’s 2010 candidate, raised $30,566 between Aug. 31 and Sept. 30; Boucher raised $29,662 between Aug. 16 and Sept. 30; and McKinney raised $33,087 between July 13 and Sept. 30. The exploratory candidates will be able to use the money they raise now to help qualify for the public financing. Gubernatorial candidates in Connecticut are eligible for at least $1.25 million for a primary and $6 million for the general election.
Besides raising money, records show the Republicans are also spending some of it already.
McKinney’s campaign, for example, has spent $5,000 on a New Jersey fundraising consultant, Tusk Productions Inc., while Foley spent $10,555 on a West Hartford direct mail solicitor, Cricket Press.
Boughton pointed out how he raised the $14,545, between Aug. 14 and Sept. 30, while he was also raising money for his mayoral re-election campaign. He has so far amassed $70,075 for his mayoral bid. The municipal election is on Nov. 5.
“I am grateful for the generosity of my supporters,” Boughton said.
Boucher called her fundraising efforts so far “a great start,” and said her message about “raising the standard of our state government is resonating very clearly.”
(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)