Candidates in 5th Congressional District raise $8 million

Four Republicans and three Democrats collectively have raised $8 million in the race for Connecticut’s only open congressional seat — the hotly contested 5th District — but the state’s single richest congressional campaign lies to the south in the 4th District of Fairfield County.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, who captured what was New England’s only Republican U.S. House seat in 2008, has raised $2.24 million — three times more than his GOP challenger, Steve Obsitnik, and double most other Connecticut incumbents.

Himes’ fundraising reflects that the 4th District, which includes some of the state’s richest Republican towns as well as the Democratic city of Bridgeport, still is not a seat that a Democrat can afford to take for granted.

Campaign finance reports for the period ending June 30, which had to be filed electronically with the Federal Election Commission by midnight Sunday, show that Himes is the only U.S. House candidate in the state to raise more than $2 million.

Obsitnik raised $725,000 and had $654,240 in available cash, compared with the $1.69 million in cash on hand for Himes.

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Chart by: Nicholas Rondinone; Data: FEC

In the chase for campaign dollars, no district compares to the 5th, where three Democrats trying to win the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Christopher Murphy, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, have collected nearly $4 million.

Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire has raised $1.53 million, compared with $1.2 million for newcomer Dan Roberti of Kent and nearly $1.1 million for House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan of Meriden. The Democrats’ available cash: Esty, $905,303; Donovan, $570,547; and Roberti, $288,412.

Among the four Republicans, none has raised more than $750,000 in contributions, but two candidates, Mark Greenberg and Lisa Wilson-Foley, have supplemented their fundraising with major loans.

Discounting loans, Justin Bernier has raised the most of the GOP pack: $721,249. But he had just $138,285 cash on hand after a difficult reporting period — less than any of the other six candidates in the 5th District.

State Sen. Andrew Roraback of Goshen, who won the endorsement of the GOP convention in May, raised $113,666 in the recent period, compared with $62,816 for Bernier, $52,503 for Wilson-Foley and just $3,825 for Greenberg.

Roraback now has raised $536,625. As of June 30, he had $263,956 cash on hand.

Wilson-Foley now has raised $598,153 for the election cycle, compared with $283,295 for Greenberg. But the two business executives have the most cash on hand, thanks to loans to their campaigns.

Greenberg has loaned his campaign $1.49 million, including $650,000 in the reporting period ending June 30. Wilson-Foley has loaned her campaign $585,000, including $65,000 in the most recent period.

With their self-funded loans, Greenberg had $761,635 and Wilson-Foley had $454,183 in available cash.

U.S. Rep. Joseph Courtney, D-2nd District, whose seat was won by the GOP in 2000, 2002 and 2004, had more than $926,000 cash on hand of the $1.13 million raised during the cycle. Neither of his two GOP challengers, Paul Formica and Daria Novak, has raised significant funds.

Formica had $13,956 in available cash. Novak had $3,045.

The other two congressional districts, the 1st of Greater Hartford and the 3rd of the New Haven area, have not been competitive in decades.

U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, D-1st District, raised $419,150 in the most recent period for a total of $1.46 million. He had $477,148 in available cash. U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, raised $153,234 for the period, $875,517 for the cycle and had $92,604 in available cash.