MANCHESTER — Mayoral candidate Patrick Arnold has raised $64,529 in his bid to defeat Mayor Ted Gatsas, according to his campaign disclosure report.
The form was made publicly available on the day of the primary Tuesday, when Patrick won 41 percent of the vote. It was a better showing than many predicted for the 30-year-old, two-term alderman, who is challenging one of the state's best known political leaders.
Arnold released his disclosure form right at the deadline under the city charter, while Gatsas has been forthcoming in releasing his campaign tallies over the year. Gatsas had raised more than $200,000 before the primary.
Arnold's total at the primary is considerably larger than previous mayoral challengers and raises the likelihood that he will be able to mount a multi-media campaign against Gatsas in the weeks ahead of the general election Nov. 5.
Since January, Arnold's campaign has taken in more than 350 contributions. Public employee unions were the largest single source of donations. The Manchester Professional Fire Fighters contributed $3,500 in four checks between February and September; the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 2320 contributed $1,300; the Manchester Police Patrolman's Association donated $750; the Manchester Education Association, the teachers union, contributed $750. All together, there were $10,000 in donations from organized labor groups.
Arnold stressed that the majority of his donors were individuals who made modest donations.
"I'd say it shows we have strong grass-roots support. The vast majority are low-dollar contributions from a wide variety of individuals," he said.
Arnold said that the donations from unions wouldn't make him beholden to them in contract negotiations. "I'm proud to have the support of working men and women. I'd say my record speaks for itself. I believe in fair negotiations, unlike Mayor Gatsas," he said.
Arnold's campaign form shows he spent $48,595 since early this year. The largest single expenditures were for rent for his campaign headquarters and for his campaign consultant, Huck Montgomery. According to the form, Arnold has been paying $700-$1,000 rent at 1117 Elm St. since January, and the campaign has been paying Montgomery about $2,000 a month since February. Both are also listed as campaign contributors. The rent, Arnold said, was an in-kind contribution.
Arnold said he'll continue to raise more money in the coming weeks. "We'll be having more events, absolutely," he said, adding that he wasn't concerned about lacking cash in the final stage of the campaign, "particularly after our performance yesterday."
Gatsas, who has raised most of his campaign funds from wealthy individuals and businesses, said he'll continue to mount a positive campaign. "We'll stay on the street corner waving, putting up more signs, and we'll be on the phone calling people," he said. firstname.lastname@example.org