Back in May, media darling and third-party gubernatorial candidate Jon Pelto told the Hartford Courant that he wasn’t a spoiler, pledging not throw his hat in the race unless he could raise enough money to run a “credible campaign.”
What exactly does that mean? What is the actual cost of a credible campaign?
After spending the last two decades as political advisor-for-hire and state representative, you’d think Pelto would know. Yet, according to his recent campaign finance filing Pelto has only raised $7,235 as of June 30.
Keep in mind, included in that total is $100 given to Pelto by former GOP state chairman Chris Healy — whose motives for supporting him have nothing to do with Pelto actually standing a chance in September.
To put this into perspective, the two major party candidates Tom Foley and Governor Dannel Malloy both qualify for the Citizens Election Program, which means both campaigns already have raised at least $250,000 in small donations and will receive an additional $1.3 million for the primary and $6.5 million for the general.
For Pelto to come close to that amount, he would have to raise an additional $242,000 in small donations in the next two months, which will only make him eligible for around $2 million in CEP funding.
Even long-shot third-party challenger Joe Visconti, who hasn’t received even half the amount of media attention, has raised more money than Pelto. (Visconti raised $11,537.60 as of June 30.)
With only two months to go before for public financing is out of reach, how exactly is Pelto going to compete? The likely explanation is he has no intention to do so.
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