In the GOP fight against Blumenthal, Klarides raises the most; Levy borrows more

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Themis Klarides raised more money than any other Republican candidate for the US Senate in Connecticut in the first three months of 2022, while her rivals Leora Levy and Peter Lumaj relied more on personal loans than donations.

Campaign reports filed Friday showed Klarides raised $425,431 in the first quarter, compared to $294,930 for Levy and $158,058 for Lumaj. No other Republican reported a significant fundraiser in the race.

They are competing for the GOP nomination and a chance to face the well-funded two-year Democratic incumbent, Senator Richard Blumenthal. His campaign raised an additional $706,858 and ended the quarter at $8.1 million.

Levy, a Republican National Committee member and longtime GOP fundraiser, ended the quarter with nearly $1 million in her campaign account, largely due to a $750,000 loan from the candidate.

Lumaj had $459,817 in cash, more than half of it from a $250,000 loan he made for his campaign on March 30, the penultimate day of the filing deadline. He has been a candidate since November 24 and has now raised $269,533.

Klarides, a former Republican leader of the House of Representatives who is not seeking re-election in 2020 after 22 years as a state representative, ended the quarter with $447,701 in cash. She loaned her campaign $40,000.

By pouring significant personal funds into their campaigns, Levy and Lumaj appear to underscore their intent to remain in the running past the Republican nominating convention in May, where Klarides is favored.

To qualify for an August elementary school, you must win 15% of the congressional vote or submit a request for entry. The only nationwide Republican primaries are expected to be for the US Senate and Secretary of State.

While Klarides demonstrated more financial support from past and current elected officials, Levy and Lumaj demonstrated financial support for the GOP’s presumptive gubernatorial nominee, Bob Stefanowski.

Stefanowski, who was also the 2018 gubernatorial candidate, donated $2,000 to Levy and $3,001 to Lumaj. Stefanowski, the winner of a five-way primary four years ago, has only a token contest for the nomination this year.

Linda McMahon, a two-time Republican Senate nominee who lost races to Blumenthal in 2010 and to Chris Murphy in 2012, donated $5,800 to Levy’s campaign and $5,000 to the Connecticut Patriots, the super PAC that supports Levy.

Aside from both living in Greenwich, McMahon and Levy have ties to the Trump administration. McMahon ran the Small Business Administration and Levy was appointed US Ambassador to Chile.

Thomas Foley, the party’s nominee for governor in 2010 and 2014, donated $5,800 to Klaride’s campaign, the maximum allowed in the August primary.

Donors can give a maximum of $2,900 to each phase of a federal campaign: congressional, primary and general election. Klarides’ husband, Greg Butler, gave $8,600 – basically betting she would make it to the November election.

Two former GOP state chairs, Chris Healy and Herb Shepardson, donated $1,505 and $500, respectively, to Klaride’s campaign. Robert Poliner, another former chairman, gave Levy $250.

Klarides’ predecessors and successors as Republican leader of the House, Lawrence F. Cafero Jr. and Vincent Candelora, donated $500 and $255 respectively. Rep. Tim Ackert, R-Coventry, who unsuccessfully challenged her for the lead in 2016, contributed $505.

Old Lyme’s J. David Kelsey covered every bet: He gave $2,000 to Lumaj, $2,005 to Klarides, $5,800 to Levy and $15,000 to the Connecticut Patriots, the super PAC that backs Levy. The new PAC raised $25,000.

Home race: Hayes overtakes Logan 3-1

In what is expected to be Connecticut’s most competitive congressional race, U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-5th District, has collected more than triple her Republican opponent George Logan in the first three months of 2022.

Hayes raised $303,855 to $90,389 from Logan. Her campaign ended the quarter with nearly $1.6 million in the bank, compared to Logan’s $214,477.

Hayes, a former National Teacher of the Year who has never held elective office, won the open seat in 2018. Logan is a former state senator.

No Republican has won a congressional race in Connecticut since 2006. But the 5th and 2nd are counties that have carried Republican statewide candidates in other contests, which offers the GOP a degree of hope.

US Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, had a similarly large advantage over Republican Mike France in his fundraising, raising $308,836 over France’s $109,774. Courtney ended the quarter with $1.2 million in the bank compared to $116,832 in France.

France is a republican legislature of Ledyard.

The 1st, 3rd, and 4th districts are solidly Democratic, and the two Republicans who recently opened campaigns in the 3rd and 4th districts have had mixed fundraising results.

Jayme Stevenson, the former First Selectwoman of Darien, raised $137,711 and loaned her campaign $25,000 for her challenge of US Representative Jim Himes, D-4th District. Himes raised $272,269 and had $2 million in his campaign account.

Fairfield County’s 4th Circuit was the last to be held by a Republican, but it has turned to the Democratic trend since Himes unseated Republican Chris Shays, the last in a line of moderate Republicans to hold the seat.

In the 3rd Circuit, focusing on New Haven, political scientist Lesley DeNardis got a tough lesson on what it’s like to raise money for a challenge from US Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, a Democrat, the dean of the delegation and chair of the House Budget Committee .

DeNardis, a Republican who recently retired as a professor at Sacred Heart University, raised $21,217 in the quarter versus DeLauro’s $211,494. DeLauro’s campaign has $1.35 million in the bank.

DeNardis’ father, Larry DeNardis, was the last Republican to hold the seat. An educator and former state senator, he served just one term after winning an open race in 1980, aided by Ronald Reagan’s coattails.

In Greater Hartford’s 1st Circuit, US Rep. John B. Larson, a Democrat, raised $227,318 and had $876,618 in the bank. The only opponent who could muster significant funds to challenge is a Democrat, a young upstart named Muad Hrezi.

Hrezi, a former US Senate staffer running on Larson’s left, raised $170,041 in the quarter and had $192,203 in the bank. He is the first candidate to challenge the congressman for the nomination since Larson won a primary for the open seat in 1998.

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