Although Luke Bronin has never run for public office or worked in city government, the Greenwich native who moved to Hartford and is now running for mayor has built a massive campaign war chest including collecting significant amounts of money from those who do business with the State of Connecticut.
Connecticut state law is supposed to prohibit state candidates from receiving funds from state contractors but there is no prohibition on state contractors giving to municipal candidates and, as Bronin’s campaign finance reports reveal, companies that have collected tens of millions in state funds are now showing up among the list of Luke Bronin’s biggest contributors.
Major real estate and construction companies that have state contracts and have also provided campaign donations to Luke Bronin’s mayoral ambitions include the Simon Konover Company, Figure Eight Properties, The Downs Construction Company and even Tomasso Construction, the road builders associated with former Governor John Rowland downfall and initial trip to prison.
The contributions to Bronin from the Konover Company include $1,000 checks from Florida residents Simon and Doris Konover, as well as donations from other Konover executives. The Simon Konover Company’s major holdings in Hartford include the State Office Building at 55 Elm Street, as well as residential properties such as Zion Park, Sigourney Square, Casa Verde Sur and Enfield Magnolia.
According to Bronin’s last campaign finance report, the Downs Construction Company had kicked in at least $6,000 with the maximum allowable $1,000 contributions coming from Downs Corporation President John Downs III, along with $1,000 contributions from the company’s Chief Executive Office, two of the companies Assistant Directors of Operations and the Company’s Project Executive. Downs Construction projects in Hartford include M.D. Fox Elementary, Kinsella Magnet School for the Arts and the renovation of Capital Prep Magnet School.
Contributions to Bronin from Figure Eight Properties Inc. include donations from the company’s Founder, Chairman Emeritus, and four of the company’s principals. The company website states, “Figure Eight Properties locates and leverages opportunity in the commercial real estate market” and the company and its principals have been involved in many of Hartford’s most significant development deals.
Along with the list of real estate and construction companies that are providing Luke Bronin with campaign funds are a number of major Connecticut law firms, all of which have lucrative state contracts. The list includes Bridgeport based Pullman & Comley, and Hartford based Robinson & Cole, Murtha Cullina, Shipman and Goodwin and Updike, Kelly and Spellacy.
According to the July 2015 campaign finance reports, Luke Bronin’s campaign for mayor is on track to become the most expensive mayoral campaign in Connecticut history.
The reports also indicated that Bronin had about $500,000 in campaign donations on hand compared to incumbent Mayor Pedro Segarra who only had about $100,000 available to spend as the campaigns headed toward Hartford’s September 16, 2015 Democratic primary for mayor.
A final campaign finance report is due before the primary, but those reports aren’t filed with the Hartford City Clerk’s Office until next week.
For more about Bronin’s campaign money see: