Mayor Eddie A. Perez has raised $515,000 in campaign funds in his bid to win re-election, but with less than a month until the general election, Perez has already spent most of it.
The incumbent mayor has $34,000 left, according to his latest campaign finance report, which was filed with the city clerk Wednesday.
His strongest challenger, former Deputy Mayor I. Charles Mathews, has raised $106,000 during the same period, and has about $13,000 left.
Trailing them is state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, who has raised about $30,000 since January; political newcomer Raul De Jesus, with just over $7,000; former Mayor Thirman Milner, with about $6,000; and Republican J. Stan McCauley, with $1,500.
Perez has spent his money at a blistering pace, with $130,000 used on television advertisements since late August. He has also spent tens of thousands on consultants, many of whom helped U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman in his bitter election battle against Ned Lamont.
Thousands more was expended for the Sept. 11 primary, with the Perez camp dolling out checks of $40, $80 or $100 to Election Day workers who held signs at polling places, made phone calls or drove citizens to vote in cars rented by the campaign.
Perez continues to raise money predominantly from people living outside of Hartford, and often from those who do business in the city - investors, lawyers, lobbyists, architects, developers and executives.
Mathews continues to help bankroll his own campaign. Of the $24,000 he raised in September, $15,000 was a donation from himself. About $8,000 came from individuals and another $1,500 came from Council 4 AFSCME, a union that endorsed Mathews in the primary.
Perez won the Democratic primary with 3,750 votes, or 49 percent. Mathews took second place, winning 29 percent, with state Rep. Art Feltman winning 13 percent and former state Sen. Frank Barrows getting 9 percent.
Feltman and Barrows have since dropped out of the race.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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