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    Sunday, September 25, 2022

    Courtney campaign again triples France’s fundraising

    Between the beginning of April and end of June, the campaign of U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney more than tripled fundraising totals compared to Republican challenger Mike France of Ledyard.

    Courtney, a Vernon Democrat seeking a ninth consecutive term in Connecticut's 2nd Congressional District, which encompasses nearly the entire eastern half of the state, out-raised France, who lives in Gales Ferry and serves as a member of the state House of Representatives, roughly $500,000 to $140,000, campaign finance records show.

    Courtney’s campaign began the second quarter — April 1 to June 30 — with more than $1.2 million cash on hand. The campaign spent almost $180,000 during the quarter, but still ended with more than $1.5 million cash on hand.

    France’s campaign began the quarter with slightly more than $116,000 cash on hand. The campaign spent about $116,000 during the quarter, and ended with almost $150,000 cash on hand. Between April 1 and June 30, France’s campaign took in almost $140,000 in contributions, including about $108,000 from individuals and $13,000 from PACs.

    U.S. Senate candidate Themis Klarides, a Republican challenging incumbent Democrat Richard Blumenthal, donated $7,700 to France during the second quarter of fundraising. France donated another $10,000 to his campaign; he has donated $20,000 to his campaign for the year.

    In that second quarter, Courtney’s campaign took in $487,234 in contributions, including $221,880 from political action committees, or PACs, and $186,275 in donations from individuals in each of the 2nd District’s 64 towns. It was Courtney’s best fundraising quarter since he ran as a challenger in 2006.

    “The results this quarter make clear that Joe and his campaign are taking nothing for granted this cycle,” Courtney campaign manager Abe Silk said in a statement to The Day. “At a time when House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy's superPAC plans to flood Connecticut airwaves with $1.75 million in attack ads, the support we received from every corner of the district will help get our positive message about Joe's record of getting things done for the district out to voters. Joe is humbled by the support and will continue to work hard every day to earn the support of eastern Connecticut's voters."

    France’s campaign could not be reached for comment.

    In the first three months of the year, Courtney’s reelection campaign drew substantial support from employees of General Dynamics, the defense contractor whose interests he champions as chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces.

    Courtney again received support from General Dynamics’ Electric Boat employees in the second quarter. He also received donations of $1,500 or less from former Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, former Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, former Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, state Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, state Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, and former New London state Rep. Chris Soto.

    Courtney received tens of thousands of dollars from ActBlue, a Democratic fundraising arm that allows individuals to donate through its platform. To date this year, the organization has sent $62,643 to Courtney’s campaign. He also saw support from defense contractors Lockheed Martin, which has sent Courtney’s campaign $9,000, and Raytheon, which has sent him $5,000, this year.

    Courtney drew significant support from DigiDems, a firm providing progressive campaigns with helpful technology, through its PAC —$2,900 this quarter, $26,300 so far this year — and the League of Conservation Voters, $5,800, among other sources.

    France saw significant support from the Stop Collectivism or Totalitarianism Triumphs PAC, which donated $2,900; WinRed, a conservative equivalent to ActBlue that has donated more than $45,000 to France this year, and Grassroots East — Federal, which contributed $5,000 for the quarter and more than $10,000 for the year, an eastern Connecticut PAC that has pledged to be “an active and influential force supporting and promoting the principles of the Republican Party of Connecticut’s Second Congressional District,” according to its website, among other sources of funding.

    In total, more than $200,000 of France’s donations have been donations of $200 or less, and $100,000 has come from donations of $2,000 or more.

    s.spinella@theday.com

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