• Stamford "Old Guard" Dems Amass War Chest To Fight Reformers In Democratic City Committee Primary

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    The fight for control over Stamford's 40-member Democratic City Committee has apparently drawn the attention of Democrats from all around the country.

    The latest filing from the Stamford Town Clerk's office reveals that the "Old Guard" Democrats, who are running on a slate known as "Democrats United for Stamford 2024" and are backed by Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons, have raised a whopping $88,861 for their campaign coffers as of the February 28, 2024, filing.

    Donations from Stamford account for 40.7% of that total ($36,165), while the remaining 59.3% ($52,696) came from outside of Connecticut. (See below table for top 24 donors.)

    Keep in mind this war chest is for a local Democratic City Committee (DCC) seat, not a state or federal appointment. But for a seat on the all-important DCC whose main responsibility is to choose candidates to run for local, state and federal office.

    This year Caroline Simmons' brother, Nick, is hoping to secure the DCC's nomination to run for State Senate against Ryan Fazio in Connecticut's 36th District, which covers Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan. Nick, who gave $3,500 to Democrats United for Stamford, will have to first beat Greenwich Democrat Trevor Crowe in a primary before he can face off against Fazio, the presumptive Republican candidate.

    The biggest donor, David McDonough, a Yahoo employee who lives in New York City, gave $10,000 to Democrats United for Stamford. Other donors included State Representatives Rachael Khanna and Hubert Delany, members of the Simmons family, several City of Stamford employees and even a staffer from Jim Himes' office.

    So far, the Democrats United for Stamford have shelled out $35,954 for the DCC primary, which includes $17,465 for a direct mail campaign from GDA Wins in Washington, DC; $12,928 to Alphagraphics in Stamford for lawn signs and "walk cards"; and $1,923 to Midstate Printing in Stamford for direct mail.

    Meanwhile, the Reformers, who are running on an opposing slate called "Stamford Dems for Responsive Government", have raised $30,335 according to campaign finance records, about a third of the amount raked in by the Simmons-backed Old Guard Democrats.

    Interestingly, the top donor to the Reformers is Republican BOE Member Josh Esses, who contributed $5,000.

    Other contributors to the Reformers include a teacher and member of the Stamford Board of Representatives, Megan Cottrell, who contributed $3,600; Stamford Attorney Steve Loeb who chipped in $3,000 and Marc Moorash, the group's treasurer from Brookfield, CT, who gave $2,025.

    Donors from outside of Stamford contributed a total of $5,910, a far cry from the $52,696 that the Simmons-backed crew netted from outside of Stamford.

    The average donation to the Reformers ($253) was about half of the size of the average donation to Democrats United ($577), which also received nearly 3 dozen more donations than the Reformers.

    Nina Sherwood, who leads the Reformers, commented on the Democrats United for Stamford fundraising machine, saying, "they are powerful people with global connections – they don’t have the interests of Stamford at heart."

    The Reformers have been both publicly and privately attacked by members of the Old Guard "Democrats United for Stamford" who appear to feel threatened by the growing power of the Reformers, a group that believes Stamford city government needs to be reformed to put people over profits, and to focus on local interests, not a global agenda.

    The DCC primary takes place on March 5th.

    Top Donors To Democrats United for Stamford ($1,000 or more)

    Top Donors To Stamford Dems for Responsive Gov't ($1,000 or more)

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