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Following Lawsuit, Conn. Candidates Now Allowed To Use Campaign Funds For Child Care

Caitlin Clarkson Pereira with daughter Parker.
Photo Courtesy Caitlin Clarkson Pereira
Caitlin Clarkson Pereira with daughter Parker.

Candidates in Connecticut can use campaign funds to cover childcare. That’s after a Superior Court judge sided with a former candidate.

Caitlin Clarkson Pereira requested public funds to cover childcare for her 3-year-old daughter during her 2018 run for State Representative in Fairfield.

“While I tried to bring her along with me to as many events as possible, it was very hot out, and doing things like knocking on doors with her for quite a few hours at a time was just not feasible,” Pereira said.

The state elections enforcement commission said no. That put Connecticut at odds with federal election rules, along with states like Texas, Alabama and Arkansas, which allow it.

“Connecticut is a very progressive state in comparison, and so I assumed we would get a yes answer. And unfortunately, that’s not what we got,” Pereira said.

She sued in 2019 won her case last week.

“To know that that’s off the table, and that this is what’s considered an appropriate campaign expense now, that is I would hope a big relief for anybody running for office who has younger children,” she said.

Pereira got support from Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysciewicz — and from Ellen Weintraub, chair of the Federal Elections Commission.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.