HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin has a sizable financial advantage as he seeks re-election.
Campaign filings show a $700,000 lead over his closest opponent on the fundraising trail.
Bronin is also well ahead of his pace at this point in 2015, taking advantage of being the incumbent this time. But, his opponents remain hopeful they can get their names and messages out to voters.
Reports filed Wednesday showed Bronin is well ahead of his five rivals in his bid for a second term. Even in a local election, that can be a big advantage.
Bronin has raised more than $788,000 through the end of May, well ahead of the $507,000 he raised through May 2015, when he beat incumbent Pedro.
Bronin’s closest rival, in terms of fundraising, is Eddie Perez, the one-time mayor who is seeking a comeback after a federal corruption conviction was overturned.
Perez says he isn’t worried about the money gap.
“This is going to be a street fight that’s going to be fought in the living rooms and dining rooms of Hartford,” Perez said.
Perez has raised $75,000 through the end of May.
State Representative Brandon McGee has raised nearly $43,000, Aaron Lewis has raised around $3,000, and J. Stan McCauley has raised $1,400.
Craig Stallings filing indicates he has raised less than $1,000. Stallings said he’s focusing on meeting voters and will fundraise once he gets on the ballot.
“Politics needs to change, and the culture of politics needs to change, and we need to earn votes. We need to work for votes,” Stallings said.
Even though money is important, Southern Connecticut State University professor Jonathan Wharton says there’s plenty of time for candidates to make up ground for Bronin.
“Listen, anything can turn an election. That’s kind of the beauty of local races, right? Especially for a mayoral race,” Wharton said.
Channel 3 reached out to Bronin’s campaign, but he didn’t comment.
Hartford Democrats will endorse a candidate at their July 22 convention.
Republicans have not yet entered a candidate, but have until July 24 to endorse one.