Close to 200 people attended Mayor Mark Lauretti\u2019s first fund-raising event for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign, held last week at Villa Bianca in Seymour. \u201cI\u2019m extremely encouraged,\u201d Lauretti said after the event. Lauretti has formed a campaign committee to begin raising money for the race. He is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. The two-hour gathering on Jan. 9 featured wine, beer and a buffet, according to publicity material. Tickets were priced at $50 minimum per person, or $100 maximum. Lauretti said about 60% of the attendees were from Shelton, with the additional supporters coming from other towns. Spoke at the event The mayor said he briefly spoke at the campaign fund-raising event, highlighting his concern about the state\u2019s finances during his remarks. \u201cUntil we focus on that, there\u2019s no reason to talk about anything else,\u201d Lauretti said. He said Shelton, with its low taxes, annual budget surpluses and pro-business approach, could serve as a model for the state when it comes to financial well-being. Another campaign fund-raiser for Lauretti was planned for Jan. 14 at Amici\u2019s in downtown Shelton. Lauretti is hoping to qualify for the state\u2019s campaign finance program, which requires him to raise at least $250,000 in contributions of $100 or less. Once qualified, a candidate will receive $1.25 million for a party primary. Lauretti is one of about a half dozen GOP candidates that have either announced they are running for governor or are seriously considering making a run.