Cervoni Far Outpaces O’Connell in Fundraising for Wallingford Mayor

Credit: Robin Breeding

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WALLINGFORD – Wallingford’s Republican mayoral candidate Vincent Cervoni is outpacing the town’s Democratic mayoral candidate Riley O’Connell’s by almost 4-1 in the last financial disclosure statement of the campaign and leads by more than $20,000 in money raised.

The two candidates, by state law, released their latest campaign finance disclosure statements by close of business on Oct. 31. Those statements for the most recent filing report – from Oct. 1 to Oct. 29 – show that Cervoni brought in $16,910 from 72 contributors. His campaign has raised a total of $88,625 for the 2023 run. Cervoni’s campaign from all of the campaign filing periods has $27,499 still on hand and available to use.

In comparison, O’Connell, a 27-year-old member of the U.S. Army Reserves, raised $4,470 from 59 contributors during the same Oct. 1 to Oct. 29 period. O’Connell’s campaign has raised a total of $68,021 for his 2023 run. And, O’Connell’s campaign has $12,386 still on hand. O’Connell would be the youngest mayor in the state if he were to defeat Cervoni in next Tuesday’s general election. 

Cervoni has the support of Wallingford’s long-time mayor, Republican William Dickinson Jr. Dickinson, who was mayor for 40 years, announced in March that he wouldn’t seek a 21st two-year term. Dickinson defeated O’Connell in the 2021 mayor’s race by less than 300 votes.

The two candidates have offered different priorities for the town. O’Connell has focused his campaign on enacting town term limits, the town’s finances, infrastructure and education. Cervoni, who has been on the council for 14 years including the last 10 as chair, has been highlighting fiscal stability, the need for better Town Hall technology and his experience in town government.

Cervoni had more $1,000 contributions – which is the most allowed under state law – in the last filing period. Three Cervoni supporters donated the maximum as opposed to one for O’Connell.

Most of O’Connell’s financial supporters contributed less than $50, while Cervoni has more big money donors. Of his 72 contributors the last filing period, Cervoni, 55, had 24 contributors who gave at least $250. And, of that, 11 gave $500 or more. He also had the financial support in the last pay period of six attorneys and six town employees. In total, 62 of his 72 contributors live in town.

Of O’Connell’s 59 contributors, 39 gave $50 or less. He received the support of several unemployed individuals and 22 people who are retired.

O’Connell also had financial support during the last filing period from three teachers and four consultants or political consultants. In total, 49 of his 59 contributors live in Wallingford.

A group calling itself “Democrats for Cervoni” have raised $22,940 in total to date. Cervoni told CT Examiner that his campaign had nothing to do with that group. “They grew organically independently of me and, as a matter of fact, it is the source of some controversy in town right now,” Cervoni said. The candidate said that it is his understanding that the money raised by the group was being used for things like lawn signs and promotional materials.

Cervoni told CT Examiner this week that he believes he has outpaced his rival in fundraising because “We’ve had an aggressive fundraising campaign. We’ve been in touch with people in the business community who appreciate what Wallingford does for the business community. I’ve also gotten money when my opponent has said negative things about me. We saw donations go up when that happened.”

For his part, O’Connell, who spent three years as a paralegal specialist in the criminal investigations unit of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, told CT Examiner that Cervoni “has support of a lot more max donors than I do in terms of people with deeper pockets. My supporters are like me, middle class folks who know I will fight for them. They are putting their money behind a candidate they can believe in.”

Below are some of the notable donations to the two candidates.

Vincent Cervoni, Republican mayoral candidate in Wallingford (Courtesy of the candidate)

Vincent Cervoni

  • Joseph Carabetta, Owner, Carabetta Companies, $1,000

  • Salvatore Carabetta, Principal, Carabetta Companies, $1,000

  • Elizabeth Verna, Owner, Verna Properties, Inc., $1,000 

  • Joan Ives-Parisi, Wallingford Registrar of Voters, $500

  • Joseph Passaretti, Attorney, Montstream Law Group, $500

  • David Gay, Financial Advisor, Wooster Square Advisors, $500

  • Mike Perzin, Attorney, Yolen & Perzin, LLC, $250

  • Kyle Delucia, CEO, K&J Tree Service, $100
  • Patrick Birney, Attorney and Probate Judge, Robinson & Cole, $100

  • June Seichter, Wallingford Deputy Registrar of Voters, $100

  • William Dickinson, Wallingford Mayor, $100   

  • Mark Kolakowski, Vice President, Elite Construction Resources, $100

Wallingford Democratic mayoral candidate Riley O’Connell (CT Examiner).

Riley O’Connell

  • Geoffrey Luxenberg, Manchester State Representative, $1,000

  • Simon Bellemare, Consultant, Deloitte, $250

  • Burdette Holtgrewe, Political Consultant, Blue Edge Strategies, $225

  • John McGuire, Owner, Ferguson & McGuire Insurance Services, $200

  • Will Andreycak, Consultant, Bennett Midland, LLC, $100

  • Margaret Bennett, Owner, Margaret Bennett Realty, $100

  • Michael Moconyi, Executive Director, Connecticut Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association, $100

  • Alejandra Donath, Program Manager, State of Connecticut, $100

  • John Ciotto, Tax Administrator Supervisor, State Department of Labor, $100

  • Brian Miller, Urban Planner Consultant, Miller Planning Group, $50,

  • Steven Lazarus,Architect, Steven L. Lazarus Architect, $20

Robert Storace

Robert Storace is a veteran reporter with stints at New Britain Herald, the New Haven Register, the Connecticut Post, Hartford Business Journal and the Connecticut Law Tribune. Storace covers the State Capitol for CT Examiner. T: 203 437 5950

Robert.Storace@ctexaminer.com