Washington –– Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, has outpaced his GOP rivals in campaign fundraising, pulling in $367,000 in the first three months of 2014. His campaign reported more than $1.4 million in cash on hand March 31.

Republican challenger Dan Debicella, who began fundraising in the fall, raised nearly $205,000 in the first quarter of the year and ended the reporting period with $346,552 in his campaign coffers, the latest filings with the Federal Election Commissions shows. Although that’s much less money than Himes’s campaign has on hand, it’s enough for Debicella to mount a vigorous campaign.

Former Republican Rep. Nancy Johnson, who represented the 5th District until being unseated by now-Sen. Chris Murphy, donated $250 to Debicella’s campaign, and Steve Obsitnik, who ran unsuccessfully against Himes two years ago, gave $500.

But so far, none of the GOP gubernatorial candidates have donated or even endorsed Debicella, although Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti did before joining the race to unseat Gov. Dannel P.Malloy.

Debicella lost a race against Himes in 2010.

A third candidate in the race for the 4th District seat, Fairfield ophthalmologist Joe Bentivegna, a Republican, raised $22,669 and loaned his campaign another $88,000.

“I’m proud to have earned the trust and support of the donors to this campaign. We have a long road as the underdog, but are excited to be quickly moving ahead,” Bentivegna said in fundraising letter released Wednesday.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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