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Trump holds Mar-a-Lago fundraiser for Connecticut Senate candidate

Lisa Hagen
CT Mirror
Republican Leora Levy campaigns for U.S. Senate at the Terryville Fair in Plymouth in August with Plymouth Mayor Joe Kilduff.

Former President Donald Trump is weighing into local politics in New York and Connecticut. On Monday, he endorsed Long Island Republican Lee Zeldin for governor.  On Tuesday, he hosted a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago for Leora Levy, the Republican running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut.

It’s unusual for a candidate running for U.S. Senate in Connecticut to be out-of-state for a fundraiser so late in the campaign, said Ron Schurin, a UConn political scientist.

Levy had only $314,000 in cash at the beginning of the month, compared to Democratic incumbent Richard Blumenthal who had $4.5 million.

“She is doing it because she needs to raise some money. But the significance is that it makes it more clear than before that she is closely tied to Donald Trump,” said Schurin.

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“Here in Connecticut, Trump was soundly defeated by Joe Biden in the 2020 election. And Trump has very, very, low favorability ratings here. So it's a risk that Levy is taking to associate her name so closely with Donald Trump,” said Scott MCLean, a Quinnipiac University political scientist.

“When you have a fundraiser with Donald Trump and he endorses you, this becomes an easy avenue for attacking your candidacy,” he said.

Trump lost New York by about 28 points in 2020. But on Monday, he posted an endorsement for Long Island Republican Lee Zeldin on his social media website. Zeldin held a fundraiser with the former president last month.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.