Murphy campaign raises $6 million as CT Dems outpace rivals

Washington –Sen. Chris Murphy’s campaign said the senator has raised $1.3 million in the last quarter and has more than $6 million in his war chest.

The state’s other congressional Democrats also are leaving GOP challengers in the dust when it come to raising political cash, and have a huge money advantage with Election Day more than a year away.

According to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission, Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, reported raising more than $916,000 this year and had more than $1.2 million in cash on hand on Sept. 30.

Her Republican challenger, Craig Diangelo, raised about $7,500 in donations from individuals.

Diangelo said he’s held a couple of fundraisers but has found it difficult to raise political money.

“It’s hard to get people motivated when the election is more than a year away,” he said.

An early National Republican Congressional Committee “target list” of Democrats it considers vulnerable, largely because President Donald Trump had strong support in their districts, included Esty and Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District.

Courtney’s latest filings with the FEC show his campaign has raised nearly $412,000 this year and had nearly $838,000 in cash on hand as of Sept. 30.

Courtney’s Republican challenger, Alton Clayton “Clay” Slawson III, has recently entered the race and has not reported any fundraising to the FEC.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, raised $419,458, and spent most of it, ending the quarter with $64,696 in cash on hand. DeLauro does not have a Republican opponent, but has a Democratic challenger, Bryan Neil Anderson, who has not reported any fundraising.

Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, raised $482,000 and ended the quarter with nearly $355,000. He spent nearly $708,000 on his bid for re-election, despite having no challenger, at least not yet.

Larson received nearly 74 percent of his campaign contributions from political action committees, or PACs. With a seat on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, Larson is a prime target for special interest contributions and is likely to receive more of them as Congress debates a tax overhaul this year.

Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, has also yet to draw an opponent. His campaign has raised about $542,000 and had more cash-on-hand than any House candidate – nearly $2.2 million.

But Murphy is the federal campaign fundraising leader in Connecticut this year, with more than $6 million on cash on hand and the ability to raise more than $1 million every quarter.

Murphy’s fundraising success has allowed him to launch “Fight Back Connecticut” and hire staff for the effort to mobilize opposition to Trump and congressional Republicans.

Murphy has two GOP challengers. Matt Corey, a small business owner from Enfield, just announced his candidacy last month.

The latest Senate campaign reports are not available at the FEC yet. But a spokeswoman for another Senate hopeful, Republican Dominic Rapini, a businessman who lives in Branford, said the candidate has raised $51,579.

Although Murphy, in his first term in the Senate, has raised a lot of campaign cash for his re-election, he has yet to reach the average spent on a Senate race.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Senate races have become more costly with each passing campaign cycle. It said the average winning Senate candidate spent more than $10.4 million last year.

When Murphy first ran for the Senate in 2012, GOP challenger Linda McMahon spent more than $50 million, most of it her own money, in her bid for the seat left open by the retirement of former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Murphy raised about $10.5 million to defeat McMahon, who is now the head of the Small Business Administration.

A previous version of this story said 5th District challenger Craig Diangelo had not filed a campaign report. He had filed, but the FEC website did not show his report among 5th District candidates.

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