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Obsitnik Could Take Court Action In Public Campaign Financing Standoff

Steve Obsitnik of Westport is one of the GOP candidates running in the Aug. 14 primary election for governor.
Steve Obsitnik of Westport is one of the GOP candidates running in the Aug. 14 primary election for governor. Photo Credit: File photo

Republican outsider Steve Obsitnik has been frozen out of public financing in his GOP primary campaign, but may file a court challenge.

The 51-year-old tech entrepreneur from Westport is considering litigation against the state Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) according to media reports, as well as opting out of the voluntary clean-elections program should his application for $1.3 million get delayed.

The deadline for securing public funding for the Aug. 14 primary is July 27.

The SEEC has held up Obsitnik’s application for more than a month because of compliance issues.

Obsitnik -- who was featured in this article by Daily Voice -- finished third during the state Republican Party convention to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, the party’s endorsed candidate, and former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst. Boughton and Herbst qualified for public financing on June 20.

Two other GOP primary candidates are not participating in the public financing program: former hedge fund manager David Stemerman of Greenwich and Bob Stefanowski of Madison, a former UBS Investment Bank chief financial officer.

The GOP winner faces Democrat Ned Lamont of Greenwich in November's general election.

To qualify for public campaign financing, gubernatorial candidates must raise $250,000 from at least 2,500 contributors, with $225,000 coming from Connecticut.

Stemerman has poured $13 million into his campaign, while Stefanowski has spent more than $1 million on television ads.

Obsitnik’s campaign has said it got bogged down with administrative details. For example, the Courant reported, one contributor mistakenly listed “Air Force” for his occupation and “pilot” for his employer. The SEEC requested an email from the contributor attesting that he filled out the paperwork incorrectly, the campaign said.

A separate Daily Voice article on Stemerman and other candidates can be found by clicking here.

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