Jun 22, 2016 11:03 PM

Van Ostern, Connolly, report their campaign cash hauls

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – The two Democratic gubernatorial candidates who unveiled their campaign fundraising figures had plenty to brag about.

Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern Wednesday reported raising more than $850,000 in his bid for the Corner Office, while former state representative Mark Connolly, who served nearly a decade as New Hampshire’s top financial watchdog, reported a cash haul of nearly $412,000.

Van Ostern’s campaign said their fundraising total, at the point in the race, “is the largest filing ever for a non-incumbent Democrat.”

The campaign also reported that the money raised came from more than 4,300 contributions, with 71% of those contributions $100 or less, and nearly three-fourths of those contributions coming from New Hampshire residents.

Van Ostern’s team added that they had nearly half-a-million dollars cash on hand.

“I’m proud of the nearly 4,300 contributions from thousands of supporters who have donated to our campaign to keep New Hampshire moving forward,” Van Ostern said in a statement. “Our record-breaking fundraising report shows that our grassroots campaign will have the resources we need to win in November. Together, we can build a stronger economy for everyone — not just those at the top.”

Van Ostern announced his candidacy for governor last October. His campaign told NH1 News that vast majority of the $850,000 haul was raised after his announcement, with only a small amount of money carried over from his 2014 re-election campaign for the Executive Council.

Connolly, who announced his bid for the Corner Office last November, reported having $243,100 cash on hand.

Connolly Campaign Manager Colin Pio said "we're incredibly proud of our fundraising efforts, which began the day we announced in November. Since then, we've earned the support of hundreds of grassroots contributors from across New Hampshire and have seen tremendous momentum throughout the spring. We're fully confident that we'll have the resources to communicate with voters about Mark's record of accomplishment and his vision for New Hampshire."

Both candidates voluntarily announced their fundraising figures. Candidates have to file their reports on August 23, which is just three weeks before the September 13 primary.

In New Hampshire, gubernatorial candidates can raise up to $5,000 from individual and businesses (and more from political action committees) until they officially file to become candidates. This year the filing period took place June 1-10. After filing, candidates can raise a maximum of $1,000 for the primary and another $1,000 for the general election from individuals and businesses.

The last time there was an open race for governor, Democratic candidates Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley both voluntarily filed their fundraising figures early. Hassan won the 2012 primary and general election and was re-elected in 2014.

When Hassan announced last autumn that she’d launch a Democratic challenge against Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte rather than run for a third term in the Corner Office, it triggered a wide open race for governor. Besides Van Ostern, and Connolly, former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, is also running for the Democratic nomination.

Marchand announced his gubernatorial bid this spring. His campaign did not announce their fundraising figures.

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, state Sen. Jeanie Forrester, and state Rep. Frank Edelblut are running for the GOP nomination. None of the Republican candidates unveiled their campaign cash numbers.

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