NEW BRITAIN - The second quarter of fundraising for Novemberâ€™s municipal election is over, and the mayoral campaign for Democrat Merrill Gay is picking up steam.
Gay, a Board of Education member vying for the Democratsâ€™ endorsement next week, raised $26,000 in the quarter, bringing his campaign war chest to $32,000. His campaign team has knocked on more than 1,500 doors so far.
Incumbent Mayor Erin Stewartâ€™s second-quarter fundraising efforts also yielded strong results. Stewartâ€™s campaign raised $20,910 with the average donation being $121. Stewartâ€™s campaign coffers now hold $42,355, about $10,000 more than Gay.
New Britain resident Al Mayo, who challenged Stewart as a petitioning candidate in 2015, said his campaign has not begun fundraising efforts yet.
In a fundraising announcement, Gay said, â€śOur city has been through so many ups and downs, our focus on economic growth and better management of our resources is being well received. Voters are concerned about higher taxes, jobs and New Britain schools.
â€śIâ€™m humbled by the outpouring of support thatâ€™s come from across our New Britain. Residents want to see our storefronts open, they want to have good paying jobs, and they want to know that their futures, and our childrenâ€™s, are secure. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m fighting for. Iâ€™m fighting to build a better New Britain.â€ť
In her fundraising announcement, Stewart said, â€śThe heartwarming support from our residents and business owners is inspiring. My team and I have worked hard to improve the quality of life in our city, to bring back the pride New Britain had been missing and to bring government to the people.
â€śThe fact that a majority of my donors call New Britain home is a testament to the commitment we have made to work for them and lead the way.â€ť
Mayo told The Herald he is planning a big fundraiser sometime after the Democratic Town Committee makes its endorsements next week.
Stewart announced her bid for a third term in January. Gay formally announced his candidacy for mayor in April, joining Mayo as potential Stewart challengers.
Gay is an early favorite to receive the Democratsâ€™ endorsement, as he has already received support from state and U.S. representatives and local organizations. Both Gay and Mayo are seeking the endorsement of the DTC, but Mayo said he will run as a petitioning candidate if he doesnâ€™t get the partyâ€™s endorsement.
The DTC will announce their endorsed slate at 7 p.m. July 20 at City Hall.
The Republican Town Committee will officially give its endorsements at 7 p.m. on July 24 in the Tim Stewart Community Room of the New Britain Police Department.
Nominating and primary petitions must be filed by Aug. 9.
Primary elections will be held on Sept. 12 and Election Day is Nov. 7.
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.