Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz ’83 announced last week that she raised over $500,000 for her Senate race in the first quarter of 2011. That total would be impressive had Bysiewicz’ primary opponent, congressman Chris Murphy, not announced yesterday that his campaigned raised over $1 million in that same timeframe.
Democrats Murphy and Bysiewicz both announced their intention to run for the Senate seat Sen. Joseph Lieberman ’64 LAW ’67 this January, and both claimed their internal polling showed them in the lead for the Democratic nomination. In announcing her earnings, Bysiewicz seemed already on the defensive — she admitted she may be “outraised” in the race, but expressed hope that her message would resonate with Connecticut voters.
“I’m sure the corporate PACs and DC lobbyists are lining up to support other candidates. After all, I don’t have cozy relationships with DC insiders,” Bysiewicz wrote in announcing her fundraising totals. “But you and I know that Connecticut votes are not for sale. Hard work, a commitment to Connecticut voters, and the support of thousands of people like you will make the difference.”
A week later, when Murphy announced his totals, he noted that the majority of his donors — 1,100 out of 1,600 total donors — gave $100 or less, and that 85 percent of his donations came from within Connecticut.
Murphy and Bysiewicz are the only two Democrats to have announced their candidacy; Rep. Rosa DeLauro has declined to run, but did endorse Murphy. No candidates have entered the fray on the Republican side, but former World Wrestling Entertainment executive Linda McMahon, who lost to Sen. Richard Blumenthal LAW ’73 last fall, is rumored to be considering another shot at the Senate. Tom Foley, the Republican who lost a close gubernatorial race to Gov. Dannel Malloy, has announced he will not run for Senate, but may challenge Malloy in 2014.