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ANALYSIS: GOP Candidates’ Fundraising Shows Enthusiasm; One Dem Burns Through Cash

April 20, 2017 By Staff
ANALYSIS: GOP Candidates’ Fundraising Shows Enthusiasm; One Dem Burns Through Cash

A deeper dive at the first-quarter fundraising numbers reported by six candidates who are pursuing likely runs for governor of Connecticut.

Now that the dust has settled on fundraising reports for potential gubernatorial candidates from the first quarter of 2017, it’s time to take a deeper dive.

Reclaim Connecticut’s analysis finds two takeaways from the reports of six candidates, five Republicans and one Democrat:

  • There’s enthusiasm for GOP candidates for governor, as all five candidates are past or near the $100,000 mark for fundraising
  • The one Democrat in the race for most of 2017, Mayor Dan Drew (D-Middletown), is burning through his campaign cash at a far higher rate than the Republicans


All five Republican candidates who have been in the gubernatorial race for at least a few months are past or near the $100,000 mark for fundraising. That ranges from First Selectman Tim Herbst (R-Trumbull), who entered in January and raised $83,000, to Peter Lumaj, who has been running since September 2016 and has raised $206,000.

In the middle are:

  • Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury), who joined the race in November and has raised $91,000
  • Businessman Steve Obsitnik, who joined the race in January and has raised $109,000
  • State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury), who joined in December and has raised $138,000

All five hauls are impressive for a few short months, and get the candidates at least a third of the way to their first requirement for public election funds: raising $250,000.

The fact that having five candidates in the race has not diluted the fundraising efforts of any one candidate is a potential sign of enthusiasm for GOP candidates in 2018.


Mayor Dan Drew (D-Middletown) is the only Democrat who has been in the race for months, though Jonathan Harris and Chris Mattei joined him this week.

Drew raised $106,000 in his first few months on the trail – on par with the Republicans – but one thing sets him apart from his campaign counterparts: how much Drew has spent.

Drew spent $73,000 of his $106,000 in the first quarter, for a burn rate of 68 percent.

Compare that to the burn rate of Drew’s competitors:

  • Boughton: 42 percent
  • Herbst: 40 percent
  • Lumaj: 44 percent
  • Obsitnik: 19 percent
  • Srinivasan: 14 percent

More interesting: it appears at least $42,000 of Drew’s expenditures – more than 50 percent – went to just one vendor: The VINCI Group, a Democratic political consulting firm.