Himes outpacing Westporter Obsitnik in 4th District race
Updated 12:47 pm, Tuesday, July 17, 2012
WASHINGTON -- Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes has a big fundraising lead in his battle to keep representing Connecticut's 4th Congressional District, with $1 million more cash on hand than Republican candidate Steve Obsitnik.
Himes, a Greenwich resident seeking his third term, received $459,336 in contributions in the second quarter of this year and reported about $1.7 million in cash on hand as of June 30, according to his quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission.
Obsitnik, a Westport resident, reported $654,241 on hand.
Both candidates won their parties' nominations and are squared off for the Nov. 6 general election.
The Democrat has raised about $2.2 million during the entire campaign, spending $121,122 in the last reporting period. Obsitnik, a 45-year-old Westport businessman, spent $83,740 and raised $219,820. Obsitnik has raised a total of $721,802.
Justin Myers, Himes' campaign manager, claimed that Obsitnik's lower fundraising levels are a reflection of the candidate's election prospects.
"Two years ago the GOP nominee raised over $800,000 in the quarter he secured the nomination. Steve Obsitnik only raised a quarter of that, which suggests that people don't have much confidence in his campaign," Myers said.
Obsitnik's campaign manager, John Puskar, accused the Himes campaign of relying on "Beltway connections" and "special-interest money." Himes has received $787,200 in donations from political action committees, compared to Obsitnik's $4,500.
Political action committees enable donors connected to corporations, unions, interest groups or advocacy organizations to pool their donations, thus making a single, higher profile contribution to the candidate than individual contributions otherwise might.
"The status quo in Washington is not working, and if we expect things to change, we need to send a different type of person to represent us," Puskar said.
Esty, a former state representative from Cheshire, has $905,303 in her campaign coffers -- more than the combined total that her primary rivals have on hand. Her campaign has raised a total of $1.5 million this election cycle, with $274,103 of that money coming in the second quarter.
Connecticut House Speaker Christopher Donovan's embattled campaign for the 5th District nomination reported $570,547 on hand after raising a comparatively meager $90,476 in the last quarter. The Donovan campaign has raised a total of $1.1 million.
Donovan, who many presumed would be the next congressman in the 5th District, got into hot water when his finance chief Robert Braddock Jr. was charged with fundraising irregularities involving $27,500 in contributions. Braddock has pleaded not guilty, and Donovan has maintained that he knew nothing about the matter.
"Elizabeth is the only candidate in this race who has earned the support needed to win the primary and to take on and eventually beat the Republican candidate," said Jeb Fain, a spokesman for Esty.
On the Republican side in the 5th District, Southbury businessman Greenberg raised just $3,825 in the quarter but loaned his campaign $650,000 on June 30 and reported $761,635 in cash on hand. Lisa Wilson-Foley, a Simsbury businesswoman, has $454,183 on hand, while state Sen. Andrew Roraback, of Goshen, has $263,956 in available cash.