Mark Boughton
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton
Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton Claude Albert /

One thing Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton has learned in two prior runs for governor: You can’t begin too soon to start raising the $250,000 in individual contributions of no more than $100 to qualify for public financing of about $6.5 million.

Boughton, who failed in 2010 and 2014 to hit $250,000, created an exploratory committee Tuesday and launched a fundraising web site: the Connecticut Comeback Committee.

He is the fourth Republican to open an exploratory committee for an undetermined office in 2018, when there is expected to be an open race for governor. GOP gains in the recent General Assembly races suggest a favorable wind for Republicans.

State Sen. Rob Kane, R-Watertown, created an exploratory last week. Peter Lumaj, a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 and the GOP nominee for secretary of the state in 2014, filed his papers in September and quickly raised $21,000, much of it from donors in New York.

State Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, formed his exploratory in December 2014. He’s raised $11,753.

Anthony R. Moran, a Republican who only drew 31 percent of the vote in a race against  state Rep. Matt Lesser, D-Middletown, on Nov. 8, filed papers for a 2018 run for state representative, then shifted to an exploratory.

Exploratory committees can accept maximum contributions of $375, but nothing above $100 can count towards the $250,000 for governor. Other offices have lower qualifying amounts.

No Democrat has created an exploratory for 2018.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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