Connecticut’s two wealthy self-funded candidates, Gov. Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski, each have spent twice as much money on their 2022 rematch as they had at this point in their 2018 campaigns.
Reports filed late Tuesday night for the three-month period ending Sept. 30 showed the Democratic governor and Republican challenger spending at a record pace: $14.8 million by Lamont’s campaign and $9.2 million by Stefanowski’s.
At the same point in 2018, the spending was $7.36 million by Lamont and $4.28 million by Stefanowski.
The majority of the spending is the candidates’ personal funds. Stefanowski has raised $1.45 million from others; Lamont, $489,249.
Rob Hotaling, the candidate of the Independent Party of Connecticut, also is a self-funder, albeit on a far more modest scale. The candidate’s personal loans of $23,000 account for all but $1,240 of his total spending.
More than half of the spending came in the three-month reporting period, when staffing and TV spending ramp up: $8.5 million of Lamont’s total spending of $14.8 million, and $4.97 million of Stefanowski’s total $9.2 million.
Overall spending on the race is nearly $32 million: $24 million by the candidates’ campaigns and $7.65 million by four super PACS, three spending nearly $5 million attacking Lamont and one spending $2.7 million attacking Stefanowski.
As in 2018, Lamont and Stefanowski opted out of the Citizens’ Election Program, which would have limited their total spending to about $8 million each for the entire campaign, most in public grants of $7.7 million.
Other than the candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, all the major-party nominees for statewide constitutional offices have qualified for public financing and its spending limits. General election grants for those offices are $968,250.
Aside from the money expended by Lamont and Stefanowski, their running mates also are raising and spending money: Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, $549,203, and Republican Laura Devlin, $147,540.
One of the biggest differences from 2018 is the ability and willingness of Stefanowski, a former corporate chief executive with consulting income of more than $36 million after his 2018 loss, to spend more.
Stefanowski spent $3.3 million of his own money four years ago, much of it to win a five-way Republican primary. He then turned to individual donors, raising another $3.3 million for a total of $6.6 million.
This year, Stefanowski has deposited $10 million in his campaign account. He had $2.2 million left in his campaign account on Sept. 30 but was continuing to raise outside money.
Lamont’s cash-on-hand number is irrelevant, as he deposits money into his campaign account to meet budgeted spending.
His campaign has not disclosed what it expects to spend through election day, other than acknowledging it will be significantly more than the $15.9 million expended in 2018.
In tax returns released in April, Lamont reported average annual investment income of about $8.65 million over three years. He filed separately from his wife, Annie, shielding her income as a successful venture capitalist.