Formica Gears Up for a David vs. Goliath Battle

East Lyme First Selectman Paul Formica's next race against incumbent Congressman Joe Courtney will be a lot tougher to win than the primary.


Tuesday's primary election was , who beat Republican rival Daria Novak by such a wide margin that the race was called even before all the results were in.  

“Today was great!” Formica said as he enjoyed a few quiet moments with his daughters after the victory party ended at Tuesday night. “It was exciting and such an honor to go around and campaign.”

Formica had spent a all over Connecticut’s Second Congressional District. If he hopes to beat the incumbent Democrat, , however, he’s going to have many more days like that between now and November’s election.

Formica might have won the primary handily but the race against Courtney is going to be an uphill battle, and he knows it.

“This is a huge challenge, to go up against a third-term Congressman who is well funded and well-liked,” Formica said.

Going Up Against Big Money

As a late entry in the race, Formica has a lot of catching up to do in the fundraising department. When state Rep. Chris Coutu dropped out of the Congressional race to run for state Senate instead, Formica stepped in with very little time to campaign. 

Unlike Coutu, who according to the Center for Responsive Politics had amassed a war chest of $131,873 and spent $118,715 of that amount campaigning as of June 30, Formica didn’t start fundraising until he entered the race in mid-May.  

From May to July 25, Formica managed to raise a total of $37,081, which was slightly more than Novak had amassed. Of course, much of that money is now gone.

The Center for Responsive Politics shows Formica spent $34,820 by July 25, which left him with just $2,262 on hand. Formica’s going to need a lot more than that to come anywhere close to Courtney.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Courtney has $1.15 million in his campaign coffers. The incumbent Democrat raised $211,000 between the months of April and June alone.

Formica is Red in a Blue District

Formica’s biggest obstacle, however, is the fact that he’s running as a Republican in the Second District, which is heavily Democratic. So what’s his strategy?

“Now the message broadens to include Democrats and unaffiliated voters who are interested in change and prosperity,” said Formica. “We offer a better opportunity economically.”

Playing to his strengths as a successful small business owner and as a First Selectman who has worked hard to revitalize business in East Lyme, Formica said he hopes to bring “Main Street commonsense values to Washington D.C.”

“Everybody needs a job. Everybody wants to be able to pay their college tuition,” said Formica. “Everybody wants the American Dream.”

In his victory speech Tuesday night, Formica said that being able to rise from a small business owner to become the endorsed Republican candidate for Congress epitomized that dream for him.


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