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Republican Candidates Qualify for Public Finance for State Senate Race

Published May 15, 2018 • Last Updated 11:51 a.m., May 16, 2018

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The race for the 12th District state senate seat is heating up with candidates from both major parties now having qualified for public financing. In early May, Republicans Adam Greenberg and Jerry Mastrangelo both raised the necessary funds to qualify for a public grant under Connecticut campaign laws.

Following the news that current State Senator Ted Kennedy Jr. (D) would not seek a third term as the senator for the state’s 12th District representing Branford, Guilford, Madison, North Branford, Durham, and Killingworth, candidates from both parties have announced their interest in the seat.

Kennedy announced he would not seek the seat in February. A few weeks after Kennedy’s announcement, a number of candidates stepped forward, including Greenberg and Mastrangelo.

Public funding for campaigns comes through the Citizen’s Election program. The program is voluntary and provides funding to qualified candidates for statewide offices and the General Assembly.

According to the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) website, “To participate, candidates must agree to abide by certain guidelines, including contribution and expenditure limits and disclosure requirements. This voluntary public campaign financing program was designed to encourage citizen participation and limit the role of private money in the State of Connecticut’s political process.”

Mastrangelo, a Branford resident who owns and serves as president and CEO of four Planet Fitness franchises, announced on May 3 via press release that he had exceeded the campaign donation requirement of $15,000, reaching a total of $18,675 and thereby formally qualifying for public funding.

“I appreciate all of the support that I have received to get my campaign moving ahead,” he said in the release. “I have and will continue to meet with residents along the shoreline and beyond, to listen to their concerns and share my thoughts and plans for change. My focus is on tax reform, building a stronger economy, and putting an end to runaway spending. We need to work together toward a better tomorrow.”

Greenberg, a Guilford native, former major league baseball player, and business owner announced via press release on May 4 that he had completed the necessary fundraising.

“With our fundraising completed in under a week from formally announcing at the campaign kick off, I am eager to take this momentum forward and working tirelessly for the 12th District,” he said in the release. “We have a strong start to an effort to get Connecticut back on its feet and once again become prosperous. The people of the 12th District deserve a person who will represent their needs and concerns for their families and communities; I look forward to working hard to earn their support.”

Guilford resident Christine Cohen, a Democrat, was the first candidate to qualify for state funding.

According to a press release, “As of April 16, Cohen had raised $17,175 from 339 donors across the district, which includes Branford, Guilford, Madison, Killingworth, North Branford, and part of Durham. As a result, she is eligible for an $85,000 grant to her campaign from the State Elections Enforcement Commission.”

Other Democrats interested in the race include Guilford resident Andy Gottlieb, who has yet to qualify, and Madison resident and former mayor of West Haven John Picard, who has expressed interest in the seat, but has not made a formal announcement to date.

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