Valentine’s Day campaign reports $37,000 in Election Day spending; Simmons unlikely to be repaid on $150,000 personal loan

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STAMFORD — Bobby Valentine’s mayoral campaign netted more than $37,000 in election day and night expenses, including money spent on refreshments, credentials, security and venue of an event with supporters.

Valentine, a former professional baseball manager and Stamford native who ran as an unaffiliated candidate, lost the election to Democrat Caroline Simmons, who gave her campaign a $150,000 personal loan — and her campaign manager said this week that she does not expect to be reimbursed.

According to their latest campaign finance disclosures, filed in January, Valentine, Simmons and former mayor David Martin raised nearly $1.5 million combined in 2021, breaking the previous fundraising record set by the race to the town hall of 2013.

Simmons, who launched his campaign in February, and Valentine, who launched his campaign in May, each raised hundreds of thousands of dollars more than Martin, who lost to Simmons in a Democratic primary in September.

On Election Day, November 2, the campaign team and Valentine’s Day supporters ended the evening at The Village in the south of the city, joined by members of the media covering the results.

The Valentine’s Day campaign reimbursed manager Dan Miller for more than $19,000 in election day and election night expenses, according to the financial disclosure statement filed last month. Each reported expense had either “Election Day” or “Election Night” in its description.

Miller was reimbursed for two payments to The Village: one for $12,300 and another for approximately $4,600, according to the disclosure statement.

“We reviewed a variety of venues and determined that The Village offered the perfect mix of indoor/outdoor space, parking and technical capabilities for an event in a COVID safe environment,” Miller said in a statement.

Miller also made payments to Costco, Warehouse Wines & Spirits and catering company Steel Sharpens Steel for food, drink or miscellaneous expenses. Separately, the Valentine’s Day campaign paid KAO Distribution LLC more than $3,000 for food, drink or both for Election Day.

For election night credentials, the campaign paid Reno-based Cube Services Inc. more than $2,400.

“The excitement around Bobby’s candidacy led to more than 500 requests for accreditation from Stamford residents to attend our election night, in addition to several dozen members of the New York City subway press,” said Miller.

The campaign also donated more than $11,000 to a New York-based sports and entertainment company. Rooftop2 Productions and a payment of over $1,600 to Dark Horse Protection Services in Norwalk – both for “Election Night”.

Miller said the campaign believes it is appropriate to have crowd control security and respond to “interference” by “opposition campaign members.”

Meanwhile, the Simmons campaign held its election night rally at Third Place by Half Full Brewery in the South End. According to its financial disclosure statement, the campaign paid Half Full Brewery approximately $5,900.

None of the expenses Simmons reported specifically included “election day” or “election night” in their description. Lauren Meyer, Simmons’ campaign manager who is now a special assistant in the mayor’s office, said the campaign paid half a dozen people to make calls and show up at the polls on Election Day. He also paid Marcia Selden Catering $500 for food on election night, she said.

In addition to Simmons’ $150,000 loan, her husband, former Republican senator Art Linares, loaned the campaign $10,000 before Election Day. The campaign then reimbursed him.

Simmons “doesn’t expect to be repaid” for her loan, Meyer said.

“As we said during the campaign, she was confident her campaign had the resources to effectively communicate her vision for a more vibrant and economically inclusive future for Stamford,” Meyer said in a statement. .

Including loans, Simmons raised a total of more than $730,000 last year. She has received over $550,000 in contributions from individuals and over $20,000 from political committees.

Valentine grossed a total of around $580,000, almost all of which came from individual backers. After the election, the Valentine’s Day campaign donated $8,000 to local youth sports organizations.

Because Simmons was in a primary, people who contributed the maximum $1,000 allowed for mayoral candidates on primary election day could again contribute up to $1,000 for the general election.

Martin raised approximately $155,000, including nearly $88,000 from individual contributors and $2,500 from political committees. He loaned his campaign $65,000 and said this week he doesn’t expect to be repaid.

Joe Corsello, the Republican mayoral candidate who dropped out about two months before the general election, said he hosted a fundraising event at the Italian Center, where he once served as president. He said he raised about $3,500, which went to the Republican town committee and instead. A friend also ordered bumper stickers and lapel pins from him, he said.

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