CT gubernatorial candidates set to double spending in rematch

Connecticut’s two wealthy self-funded candidates, Gov. Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski, have each spent twice as much money on their 2022 rematch as at this point in their 2018 campaigns.

Reports filed late Tuesday night for the three-month period ending Sept. 30 showed the Democratic governor and Republican challenger were spending at a record pace: $14.8 million by Lamont’s campaign and $9.2 million by dollars by that of Stefanowski.

At the same time in 2018, spending was $7.36 million by Lamont and $4.28 million by Stefanowski.

The majority of the expenses are the personal funds of the candidates. Stefanowski has raised $1.45 million from others; Lamont, $489,249.

Connecticut Independent Party candidate Rob Hotaling is also self-funding, although on a much smaller scale. The candidate’s personal loans of $23,000 represent all of his total expenses except $1,240.

More than half of the spending was made during the three-month reporting period, when staffing and television spending increased: $8.5 million of Lamont’s total spending of $14.8 million and $4.97 million of Stefanowski’s $9.2 million.

Overall spending for the race is nearly $32 million: $24 million by candidate campaigns and $7.65 million by four super PACS, three spending nearly $5 million to attack Lamont and one spending $2.7 million to attack Stefanowski.

As in 2018, Lamont and Stefanowski opted out of the Citizens’ Election program, which would have limited their total spending to around $8 million each for the entire campaign, most of it in government grants of $7.7 million. of dollars.

In addition to the gubernatorial and lieutenant governor candidates, all major party candidates for statewide constitutional offices have qualified for public funding and its spending limits. The general election grants for these offices are $968,250.

Besides the money spent by Lamont and Stefanowski, their running mates are also raising and spending money: Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, $549,203, and Republican Laura Devlin, $147,540.

One of the biggest differences from 2018 is the ability and willingness of Stefanowski, a former corporate CEO with consulting earnings of more than $36 million after his 2018 loss, to spend more. .

Stefanowski spent $3.3 million of his own money four years ago, largely to win a five-way Republican primary. He then turned to individual donors, raising an additional $3.3 million for a total of $6.6 million.

This year, Stefanowski deposited $10 million into his campaign account. He had $2.2 million left in his campaign account on September 30, but continued to raise outside funds.

Lamont’s cash number is irrelevant, as he deposits money into his campaign account to meet budgeted expenses.

His campaign hasn’t revealed what it expects to spend on Election Day, other than acknowledging it will be significantly more than the $15.9 million it spent in 2018.

In tax returns released in April, Lamont reported average annual investment income of about $8.65 million over three years. He filed separately from his wife, Annie, protecting his earnings as a successful venture capitalist.