Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is the $6.5 million man.
In a defensive posture going into the November midterm election, which could be a rematch of his 2010 squeaker over Republican Tom Foley, the first-term Democrat secured a windfall of public funding Wednesday for his campaign.
The state Elections Enforcement Commission awarded Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman $6 million for the general election under what Connecticut has billed as its clean elections program, which made its debut in the governor’s race four years ago but has elicited some controversy from foes of using taxpayer dollars to subsidize candidates.
“We are pleased that our grant for public financing was approved today and are grateful to the thousands of grassroots supporters across Connecticut who have joined our campaign,” James Hallinan, a spokesman for Malloy’s re-election campaign, told Hearst Connecticut Media.
Foley will have to wait at least another week for his payday, however.
His application for $1.4 million for the GOP’s three-way primary for governor was deferred by the commission, which state elections enforcement officials have said is not all the uncommon.
“They contacted the campaign yesterday afternoon and asked for additional information on certain contributions that we submitted in our application for the grant,” said Chris Cooper, a spokesman for Foley. “So we will provide that information by Friday of this week and that will enable us to be on next Wednesday’s meeting of the commission, and we expect to receive approval of the grant at that meeting.”
To be eligible for the program, candidates for governor must raise $250,000 in $100 increments from individual campaign contributors. They are allowed to pool their money with their running mates to reach the threshold, but are prevented from combining grants for governor and lieutenant governor if they form a joint fundraising committee.
Most polls show Malloy and Foley, a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland and a private equity manager from Greenwich, running dead even.
The $6.5 million awarded to Malloy and Wyman is expected to be deposited to their campaign account by Friday.
Both the Malloy and Foley campaigns would not say how they plan to spend their money.
Foley did not participate in the program four years ago, when he spent $11 million of his own money in defeat by fewer than 6,500 votes statewide. He raised an additional $3 million in campaign contributions.