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Friday, September 21 News

Seeking lieutenant governor’s seat, Stevenson files for campaign assistant

DARIEN — First Selectman Jayme Stevenson has filed for a state grant in her bid for lieutenant governor that could bring up to $375,000 of funding to her campaign.

At the end of January, Stevenson filed paperwork to be a participant in the Citizen’s Election Program, the state’s public campaign finance program. This required her to raise $75,000 by July 20 to be eligible for a state grant up to $375,000. Most of the contributions came through her website and personal outreach.

Stevenon says her campaign has taken in over $80,000 to date. According to a financial filing with the Secretary of State on Wednesday, Stevenson’s campaign has raised $82,000.

“You do as much outreach as you can to people that you believe are supporters of your campaign,” Stevenson said. “They don’t have to be registered any particular way.”

Media channels can also be helpful to support funding, she said. With the grant money, she and her team plan to make more commitments to television, radio and other forms of outreach.

Stevenson will be competing with Erin Stewart, Joe Markley, Eva Zimmerman and Susan Bysiewicz for lieutenant governor. Her experience could help the next governor who will need a partner that understands how local government works and can assist in making better fiscal policies, she said.

“There’s been a great public awareness of the fiscal issues that the state of Connecticut is having,” said Stevenson. “They’ve had direct impact on the cities and towns, certainly on the town of Darien.”

Stevenson said Darien is fortunate because there is a very stable tax base. However, the town has seen a reduction of the state’s municipal aid by about 75 percent in the last five years, she said. Over the years, the relationship between state and local governments has degraded, said Stevenson.

“There’s an adversarial relationship between state and local government that I hadn’t experienced early in my term,” she said.

Her time as first selectman and working on a variety of regional and statewide boards will give her the insight needed to amend this relationship, said Stevenson.

Without her party’s endorsement Stevenson said she got around 20 percent support at the Republican Convention last May. Her success at the convention also came without having to make deals to gain support, said Stevenson.

“It allowed us to sort of move forward unencumbered by having made promises or deals with anybody,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson said she looks forward to using all her experience to partner with the next governor should she win.

“We have a lot of work to do and we need people who are willing to do that and not care about another election,” Stevenson said, “because it’s possible that we might have to make decisions that won’t get us re-elected.”

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dj.simmons@hearstmediact.com, 203-842-2568

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