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Most local legislative candidates qualify for state funding

Published October 17. 2012 4:00AM
Campaign filings show many races with equal amounts to spend

New campaign finance filings for state races show that most of the region's legislative candidates have qualified their campaigns for state funding.

The result is that in many races, the opponents have fairly equal amounts to spend.

Many state Senate candidates are reporting about $107,000 in receipts after raising $15,000 in 300 or more small contributions, which qualifies them for up to $91,290 from the Citizens' Election Program.

State House of Representatives candidates who raised $5,000 from 150 or more small donations qualified for up to $26,850 from the program and now are reporting receipts of $30,000 or slightly more.

Campaign committees had to submit reports by Oct. 10, and from now till Election Day, Nov. 6, must report to the Elections Enforcement Commission on a weekly basis.

The state Citizens' Election Program uses proceeds from sales of abandoned property and from donations to make grants based on candidates' levels of public support. To participate, a candidate must agree not to accept any contribution over $100.

All or some of the qualifying small contributions must come from residents of the respective legislative districts. Reports are posted online at the agency's website through a system called eCRIS at www.ct.gov/seec.

The 20th-District state Senate seat is an example of nearly level funding for two candidates, according to filings by incumbent Democrat Andrea Stillman of Waterford and Republican challenger Mike Doyle.

Stillman, reporting $106,906, and Doyle, with $107,115, are both participating in the Citizens' Election Program. Libertarian Marc Guttman is exempt from filing because he is not attempting to raise more than $1,000. The district covers New London, Waterford, East Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, Bozrah and parts of Montville and Old Saybrook.

The general election campaign funds raised by Republican Christopher Coutu and Democrat Cathy Osten are also very close, according to their filings, although Osten also reported funds raised for the earlier Democratic primary. They are competing in the 19th state Senate District, which includes Ledyard, the northeast section of Montville, Norwich, Sprague, Lisbon, Franklin, Lebanon, Columbia, Hebron and Marlborough.

Osten, the Sprague first selectman, has raised a total of $145,245 counting her two state grants. About $107,760 of that is for the general election campaign. Coutu has raised $107,310 for his current campaign.

Osten also received $37,485 in CEP funds for her successful primary against state Rep. Tom Reynolds, D-Ledyard. Osten had a total of $53,955 for the primary run, and had spent all but $5.35 as she entered the race against Coutu.

Osten has spent $73,506 to date on traditional items, including signs, printing, food for events, and mailings. But she has used some of her money somewhat unconventionally, hiring various consultants to get the printing done, signs ordered and ads placed.

Coutu complained that her strategy prevented "transparency" because an entry for printing, for example, mentioned the consultant who handled it rather than where the printing was done. Sam Gilcrist, campaign manager for Osten, responded that the items are spelled out in the expense payment listings.

Coutu, currently the state representative in the 47th District, has spent just about half of what he has received, $53,852, including $16,589 to produce and air a 30-second TV commercial.

Coutu said he plans much of the same in the coming weeks, with fliers, signs and direct mailings.

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State races as of Oct. 10 filing deadline

House races as of Oct. 10 filing deadline

23rd District

Marilyn Giuliano, R-Old Saybrook, incumbent

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $33,730

Spent: $18,537

Adam Stillman, Democrat

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $31,975

Spent: $7,337

37th District

Ed Jutila, D- East Lyme, incumbent, unopposed

Citizens' Election Program: No

Raised: $5,075

Spent: $1,831

38th District

Betsy Ritter, D-Waterford, incumbent

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $31,935

Spent: $5,248

Tony Siragusa, Republican, Independent

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $31,915

Spent: $12,053

39th District

Ernest Hewett, D-New London, incumbent

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,075

Spent: $540

Daniel Docker, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: No

Raised: $365

Spent: $300

40th District

Edward Moukawsher, D-Groton

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,278

Spent: $ 1,615

Andrew Lavery, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,535

Spent: $ 11,940

41st District

Elissa Wright, D-Groton, incumbent

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,323

Spent: $5,735

Harry A. Watson, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,100

Spent: $11,246

42nd District

Mike France, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,205

Spent: $3,324

Timothy Bowles, Democrat

Citizens' Election Program: No

Raised: $5,205

Spent: $1,920

43rd District

Diana Urban, D-North Stonington, incumbent, unopposed

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,185

Spent: $763

46th District

Emmett Riley, Democrat

Citizens' Election Program: No

Raised: $7,095

Spent: $312

Mikel Middleton, Republican

Exempt from filing because he did not form a candidate committee and did not intend to receive or expend funds in excess of $1,000.

47th District

Brian Sear, Democrat

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $31,905

Spent: $8,582

Noah Enslow, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: No

Raised: $5,215

Spent: $4327

139th District

Kevin Ryan, D-Montville, incumbent

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $32,038

Spent: $2,857

Leon Moore, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: No

Raised: $1,160

Spent: $347

Senate races as of Oct. 10 filing deadline

18th Senate District

Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington, incumbent

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $108,060

Spent: $8,023

Theresa Madonna, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $106,697

Spent: $5,083

19th Senate District

Chris Coutu, Republican

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $107,310

Spent: $53,852

Cathy Osten, Democrat

Citizens' Election Program: Yes

Raised: $107,760

Spent: $53,852

20th District

Andrea Stillman, D-Waterford, incumbent

Citizen's Election Program: Yes

Raised: $106,906

Spent: $25,786

Michael Doyle, Republican

Citizen's Election Program: Yes

Raised: $107,115

Spent: $51,124

Marc Guttman, Libertarian

Exempt from filing because he did not intend to raise or spend more than $1,000.

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