Trumbull campaigns spend big in third quarter

Trumbull’s first selectman candidates both spent big in the past three months as election season heats up in town.

According to the Oct. 10 campaign finance disclosures, First Selectman Vicki Tesoro’s campaign, Vicki for Trumbull, spent $19,611 between July 1 and Sept. 30. Challenger Michael Herbst’s campaign, Coach Herbst for Trumbull, spent nearly twice that, $34,649.

Tesoro, though, was the busier fundraiser in the last quarter, raising $30,621 compared with Herbst’s $22,275. In total campaign fundraising, Herbst leads $52,469 to $40,421. The Tesoro campaign had more cash on-hand as of Sept. 30, $19,237 to $16,321.

According to Tesoro’s campaign treasurer Dawn Cantafio, Tesoro held two fundraisers, a comedy night and a happy hour meet-and-greet. The bulk of her fundraising came from 201 individual contributions. Several supporters made more than one contribution.

Among the Tesoro backers, Clare Donohue, George Rupp and James Cordone of Trumbull and William LaCamito of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., contributed $1,000 to the campaign. Cordone is a Trumbull town attorney.

Of the campaign’s expenditures, more than half, $12,650, went to Honan Strategy for polling. The payments were made in two installments, $7,590 on Aug. 29 and $5,060 on Sept. 27.

Other notable expenses were $720 for campaign T-shirts, $781 to Hearst Media for advertising, $825 for Mets tickets and $960 for Yankees tickets that were used as fundraising prizes.

The Herbst campaign raised the bulk of its funds through 128 individual donations, according to treasurer Lori Rosasco-Schwartz. Similar to the Tesoro camp, many supporters made more than one contribution in the three-month filing period. Campaign fundraisers included a Meet Coach event at the Windmill Tavern in Stratford, a backyard lobster bake and a dinner at the Chop House in New Haven.

Fadi Znbarakji, owner of the Trumbull Mart, made a $1,000 donation to Coach Herbst for Trumbull, as did Florida resident Raffaelo Giacobbe, owner of Testo’s Restaurant, and Weston resident Howard Saffan, owner of the Harbor Yard amphitheater.

Herbst’s campaign spent its money last quarter on a variety of items, including food: $2,642 for catering from Vazzy’s, $270 at the Windmill, $1,850 at Christiaro Seafood, $437 at Tashua Knolls and $81 at the Nauti Dolphin. The campaign spent $2,499 on website design, and made three payments to Voter Trove, a Texas-based company that integrates campaign messages across social media and robocalls, among other services. The payments totaled $1,358.

The largest expenses for Herbst were $9,975 for campaign mailers. Most of that expense, $9,308, went to Jacksonville-based Majority Strategies.

The Oct. 10 filing was the last campaign finance disclosure deadline before the Nov. 5 election.