Campaign briefs

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Shehu qualifies for program

HARTFORD — Republican state Senate candidate Karl Shehu has qualified for the Citizens’ Election Program for the 2014 general election.

The program is a voluntary program, which allows qualifying candidates for General Assembly and statewide offices to receive full public financing. To qualify for public campaign financing, candidates for state representative must raise $5,000 from at least 150 individuals residing in municipalities in their district. Participating candidates may only accept small dollar contributions from certain individuals — the maximum contribution is $100 — and no contributions from state contractors or PACs.

In most races, general election grant amounts are $27,850 for state representative candidates and $94,690 for state senate candidates, according to the State Elections Enforcement Commission, which oversees the program.

Shehu is challenging state Sen. Joan Hartley, a Democrat, in the 15th Senate District. The district includes a portion of Naugatuck, Waterbury and Middlebury.

Nardello receives endorsements

PROSPECT — Democrat Vickie Nardello, a state representative candidate in the 89th House District race, has received endorsements from the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Connecticut.

“CEA is pleased to announce the endorsement of your candidacy and I look forward to you returning to the legislature as my state representative,” said Jeff Leake, CEA vice president and Prospect resident, according to a press release. “The citizens of this state will be fortunate to have Vickie back in Hartford as a strong voice for children and education.”

Melodie Peters, president of AFT, added in a press release. “We need legislators in Hartford who will stand up for the district’s working families and lead on the issues that matter. We look forward to Vickie joining with educators, healthcare professionals and state employees to fight for great schools, affordable, quality healthcare and strong public services.”

Nardello was pleased to accept the CEA and AFT endorsements.

“Education is so important to our children, our economy and our future. I have strong concerns on how education policy has been set in Harford, such as the common core standards,” said Nardello in a press release. “Key interest groups did not have sufficient input, including families served by the system, teachers, administrators and policy makers. Broad, local input avoids mistakes and ensures ‘buy-in’ critical to successful implementation.”

Nardello, who formerly served as state representative in the district, is challenging state Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) for the seat, which represents Bethany, Cheshire and Prospect.

Federation endorses Zupkus for re-election

PROSPECT — The National Federation of Independent Business has endorsed state Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) for re-election.

Andy Markoski, state director of NFIB/Connecticut, said to Zupkus, “your voting record over the last two legislative sessions on key issues important to small business indicated that you will continued to be committed to the needs of thousands of Main Street small businesses and their employees in Connecticut,” according to a press release.

NFIB is a small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.

“Small businesses are vital to our state’s economic growth and job market. It is imperative that the policies of the state welcome new businesses and not burden them with onerous taxes and regulations” said Zupkus in a press release. “I am honored to have the support of NFIB and will continue my efforts to make Connecticut more business friendly.”

Zupkus is serving her first term representing the 89th House District, which Bethany, Cheshire and Prospect. Democrat Vickie Nardello is challenging Zupkus.

Crisco signs ‘People’s Pledge’

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joe Crisco (D-17) has signed the “People’s Pledge.”

The pledge is an agreement that calls for candidates to discourage outside spending by “independent” Super PACs and non-profit organizations in elections. It’s being circulated by Common Cause, a nonprofit, non-partisan citizens lobby.

Crisco agrees with the pledge that the volume of outside money being spent to influence Connecticut elections threatens to undo positive changes brought to the state by the Citizens’ Election Program, a press release stated.

Crisco supported the legislation in 2005 which created the program. In addition, he has always participated in the program since its inception for the 2008 election cycle.

Crisco is running for re-election in the 17th Senate District which contains Woodbridge, Hamden, Naugatuck, Bethany, Beacon Falls, Ansonia and Derby.