If you were one of the folks that thought Republican Tom Foley was just another Fairfield County businessman who wanted to get on TV and talk politics for awhile before riding off to Nantucket, hold on to your hat.
Mr. Foley raised more than $530,000 for his U.S. Senate bid in the past month, according to a release from the campaign.
“Raising over $530,000 in less than a month is a very strong endorsement of Tom Foley’s candidacy, particularly given that Tom has never run for public office. People are responding very enthusiastically to Tom’s message about the economy and the idea of electing someone to the Senate who is not just another career politician,” said Gregg Keller, Foley’s Campaign Manager.
The Greenwich Republican and former Ambassador to Ireland has been something of an enigma to political observers who wondered just how serious the businessman was about running for the Senate. Those questions are now gone.
Update 3:34pm: According to the Foley campaign, the $530k figure (also corrected post title to reflect proper number) does not include any money from the Ambassador himself.
According to Capitol Watch, former Congressman Rob Simmons – who is widely viewed as the frontrunner for the nomination – said that he raised more than Foley’s number during the 2nd Quarter:
“We did a little better than that,” Simmons said in a cellphone interview as he was on a plane Tuesday to Los Angeles.
No word yet on his final numbers.
As for State Sen. Sam Caligiuiri, he told CW that he raised about $125,000 during the same quarter and blamed his ongoing work in the Legislature for the relatively soft numbers:
“We raised about $125,000 during the same period,” Caligiuri said Tuesday. “We didn’t start meaningful fundraising until after the session ended on June 3. That’s a very good number [for Foley], but not a surprising number for a Greenwich millionaire who was a top fundraiser for George W. Bush. That’s how he got to be Ambassador to Ireland.”
Caligiuri’s comments represent the first barb of the 2010 cycle amongst the Republican candidates. He was also responsible for the second barb, noting that neither Foley nor Simmons have a job at the moment.