The State Elections Enforcement Commission has announced that Mary Stone of Old Lyme, a candidate for State Representative for the 23rd District, was among nine candidates who qualified to receive the first round of grants for 2014 under the Citizens' Election Program. The 23rd district encompasses Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Lyme and coastal Westbrook.

Others receiving the grants are state Senate candidate Bob Duff, a Democrat for the 25th district; and state representative candidates Tim Ackert, a Republican for the 8th district; David Baram, a Democrat for the 15th district; Gail Lavielle, a Republican for the 143rd district; Joseph Polletta, a Democrat for the 68th district; Robert Sampson, a Republican for the 80th district; Emily Wilson, a Republican for the 142nd district; and Melissa Ziobron, a Republican for the 34th district, according to a news release. The announcement was made last Thursday.

The Citizen's Election Program is a voluntary program that imposes contribution limits of $100 and strict spending limits. Grants vary, but typically grants for the general election are $27,850 for a House race and $94,690 for a Senate race. To qualify, a candidate must raise $5,000 and obtain signatures from 150 voters registered within the district.

"The grant enables us to reach out to voters on their issues of greatest concern, including job creation, taxation, storm recovery, and public education," said Stone in a statement in her campaign press release.

"Our application sailed through thanks to the great work of our treasurer, JoAnn Schlauder, who ensured it was correct in every detail," she added. Fundraising went quickly because "so many friends and neighbors responded enthusiastically to this campaign."

Stone, a writer and editor, has served on the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education and currently sits on the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals, the Open Space Commission, and the Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation.


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