Democratic candidates Van Ostern, Connolly release campaign filings in race for governor

Monitor staff
Published: 6/23/2016 12:13:50 AM

Two Democrats running for governor filed early campaign finance reports Wednesday, citing an effort to increase transparency in the race.

Candidates for state office aren’t required to file documents that disclose their campaign donors and expenses until late August, just a few weeks before the Sept. 13 primary.

Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern filed a report showing he brought in more than $790,000, roughly double that of competitor Mark Connolly, a Seacoast businessman. Connolly raised $312,000, not including a $104,000 personal loan, according to his filing.

Three Democrats and four Republicans are competing to replace outgoing Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. With so many candidates in the race, the competition for donors is expected to be fierce.

Former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand, the third Democrat in the race, did not file a campaign finance report Wednesday.

None of the four Republicans filed either. They are state Rep. Frank Edelblut, state Sen. Jeanie Forrester, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and Executive Councilor Chris Sununu.

Forrester and Marchand agreed to a voluntary spending cap of $625,000 in the primary and in the general election.

Van Ostern has raised $793,000, not including $62,000 that rolled over from a past campaign, according to the front page of his filing. It’s a record sum raised by a non-incumbent Democrat, according to his campaign. Van Ostern has more than $533,400 cash on hand.

“Our record-breaking fundraising report shows that our grassroots campaign will have the resources we need to win in November,” Van Ostern, of Concord, said in a statement. “Together, we can build a stronger economy for everyone – not just those at the top.”

Connolly’s filing shows his campaign brought in $312,000, and now has $243,100 cash on hand. The businessman gave his campaign more than $100,000 in personal loans.

Non-candidate political committee finance reports were due to the secretary of state’s office by 5 p.m. Neither Van Ostern, nor Connolly’s report was posted on the website by the newspaper deadline.

Van Ostern pledged in May to file a finance report by the June deadline, the first candidate to do so, according to his campaign. Connolly has “always planned to file in June,” according to campaign manager Colin Pio.

“Mark more than any other candidate on both sides of the aisle has talked about transparency and campaign finance reform,” Pio said.

(Ella Nilsen contributed to this report. Allie Morris can be reached at 369-3307 or

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