08/05/2021

‘A lot of enthusiasm:’ Stratford GOP has big money advantage as election year begins

STRATFORD — Republican Mayor Laura Hoydick’s exploratory campaign committee ended last year in the enviable position of having too much money.

The committee — Laura For Stratford — returned a total of $2,050 on New Year’s Eve to a dozen donors who had given more money than the $375 allowed annually under state campaign finance law, according to a Jan. 10 filing covering 2020’s last quarter.

That’s on top of $6,275 in similar refunds the committee disbursed to 15 donors Sept. 28.

The committee’s treasurer, William Cabral, said it was a good problem to have.

“It showed a lot of enthusiasm for Laura,” he said late last week.

Hoydick has said she’s interested in running for a second four-year term as the town’s top elected official but hasn’t officially declared a candidacy yet.

Those getting refunds included former Mayor John Harkins, who got $250 back; Town Council member William Perillo Jr., who received $175; and Town Attorney Christopher Hodgson and Bryan Leclerc, another lawyer who handles legal business for the town, who got $625 apiece.

Hodgson and Leclerc each gave $1,000 to a separate GOP political action committee, Riseley PAC, whose treasurer is the mayor’s chief of staff.

More Information

Refunds paid out from Laura For Stratford in 2020

Source: Stratford Town Clerk’s Office



















Sept. 28 refunds

   

Name

Town

Amount

Theresa M. Sheehy

Stratford

$ 625

Ray Martin

Easton

$ 125

Patricia Lampart

Shelton

$ 125

Nick Skara

Greenwich

$ 125

Michael A. Hostetter

Stratford

$ 125

Maurice McCarthy

Southington

$ 625

Lawrence A. Ciccarelli, Jr.

Stratford

$ 125

John Florek

Stratford

$ 625

Jay B. Sheehy

Stratford

$ 625

Gregory M. Gross

Stratford

$ 25

Courtney N. Iassogna

Monroe

$ 625

Christopher M. Hodgson

Guilford

$ 625

Carl A. Glad

Stratford

$ 625

Bryan L Leclerc

Fairfield

$ 625

Adam Sheehy

Stratford

$ 625

Sept. 28 total

 

$ 6,275
















Dec. 31 refunds

   

Name

Town

Amount

Bradley Hittle

Greenwich

$ 125

Brian Snyder

Trumbull

$ 175

Casimir Mizera

Stratford

$ 175

David P. D’Ausilio

Stratford

$ 25

James Feehan

Stratford

$ 175

John A. Harkins

Stratford

$ 250

Mary Dean

Stratford

$ 175

Michael Mauzerall

Stratford

$ 175

Peter Doering

Darien

$ 125

Ray Martin

Easton

$ 300

Thomas G. Cotter

Stratford

$ 175

William F. Perillo, Jr.

Stratford

$ 175

Dec. 31 total

 

$ 2,050

The committee also refunded $300 to a Stratford-based business, 251 EM Stratford LLC, because contributions from businesses are prohibited.

Its largest expense in the fourth quarter of 2020 was $602.96 paid to Riverview Bistro, where the mayor held a fundraiser Dec. 9.

After expenses, the mayor’s exploratory committee had $18,963 on hand as of Jan. 10.

The Riseley PAC had $16,098.29 in the bank on the same date, and the Stratford Republican Town Committee had $9,354.70.

The three committees had roughly $44,415 on hand as of Jan. 1, dwarfing the $10,758.14 in the Democratic Town Committee’s coffers.

The could be one reason fundraising was one of the main topics during last week’s DTC meeting, where the party faithful were urged to open up their checkbooks even as Chair Steve Taccogna lauded the DTC’s “seeds of a war chest.”

Taccogna said Thursday he is “not especially concerned” about the gulf in funding revealed by the finance disclosures. He pointed to an NPR report that indicated former President Donald Trump raised more money than President Joe Biden.

“There’s a long way between now and November, but with most regular working people and families struggling through the pandemic, I have to wonder … who’s throwing buckets of money to a GOPer,” Taccogna said.

“We’ll have what we need, and we’ll work,” he said.

Hoydick said she is thankful for backing shown by donors so far — especially during a year like 2020.

“I’m very grateful, with everything going on, that people are willing to support me,” the mayor said.

The Dems took in a total of $16,679.28 last year and paid out $7,540.39, per their campaign filings. Though the three GOP committees have more money on hand, the DTC’s bank account is in much better shape than it was to begin 2020, when its balance was $1,619.25.

The Democrats biggest expenses in the last filing period included a $1,500 payment to Brad Macdowell, a member of Hamden’s Legislative Council, for election consulting; $803 to pay for two texting platforms; and a $400 deposit to the Town of Stratford for a planned 2021 DTC picnic.

Hoydick beat Democrat Stephanie Philips in the 2017 election 5,738 votes to 5,126. Petitioning candidate Sandra Zalik, who had lost a primary to Hoydick, received 688 votes.

Philips said this week she hasn’t yet decided whether to run again or not.

In addition to the mayor’s race, Democrats will also be trying to flip the Town Council, where the GOP currently holds a 6-4 advantage.