15-term incumbent Shelton mayor trails challenger in fundraising

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — The mayor’s race may not be over, but the challenger already has the lead - at least in campaign funding.

David Eldridge, running as a Democrat, posted another impressive fundraising total for his second filing. The campaign raised an additional $13,700, bringing his overall total to $52,215 since the start of his campaign.

Mayor Mark Lauretti, seeking his 16th term, has raised nearly $29,000, with $27,000 coming during the latest reporting period.

Lauretti said he pays little attention to the campaign financing but instead on the message - high quality of life, low taxes, low debt and impressive growth, both in the city’s grand list and number of businesses coming into Shelton.

The mayor said he believes residents would rather have a candidate “who doesn’t have to raise money and still lowers your taxes in year and year out.”

Eldridge said he is receiving more contributions each day.

“Many of the folks donating, I do not even know,” Eldridge, a retired Shelton police officer, said. “I am humbled and grateful for their support. Residents keep telling me, ‘We want you to win. Thirty years is enough. He has to go.’ I tell them, I will work tirelessly for them every day to keep our taxes low while improving our services.”

Donations continue to come in daily from Republicans, Democrats, unaffiliated voters, Envision Shelton voters and people never before in politics, according to Jim Capra, Eldridge’s campaign manager and former Republican who previously served as alderman in Ward 4.

“Our goal of $50,000 has been exceeded,” Capra said. “The additional donations will help us to introduce Dave to more residents. I don’t think there has been a challenger in Shelton that has raised this much money or has such a diverse coalition behind him.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com