After exceeding the required 15% delegate votes at the May Republican convention to earn a spot in the August primary, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson has now qualified for a Citizens’ Election Program grant for her bid for lieutenant governor.

In order to earn the grant, which is for approximately $400,000, she had to obtain more than $76,000 in individual donations that could be not amount to more than $5 to $100.

The Citizens' Election Program (The "Program") is a voluntary program which provides full public financing to qualified candidates for Statewide offices and the General Assembly. To participate, candidates must agree to abide by certain guidelines, including contribution and expenditure limits and disclosure requirements. This voluntary public campaign financing program was designed to encourage citizen participation and limit the role of private money in the State of Connecticut's political process.

As of July 10, according to the State Election Enforcement Commission, Stevenson’s campaign had filed with $80,870  in donations from 900 donors to qualify.

In the August primary, Stevenson will be running against Sen. Joe Markley, who reps Southington. Markley also meet the required goal to apply for the grant.

Mayor Erin Stewart, who changed her campaign from governor to lieutenant governor the day before the convention vote, also earned a spot in the primary. As of July 10, the SEEC reported Stewart had reported $44,000 in individual donations.

The deadline for primary candidates to apply for the full grant is July 20.

Stevenson told The Darien Times she is “very proud to be filing my Citizens’ Election grant application today after months of hard grass roots work getting the support of hundreds of donors.”

“I had a fantastic group of dedicated volunteers to help me achieve this goal and I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done to date,” she said.

“I’m eager to be awarded the state grant and take my campaign to the next level statewide and win the Republican nomination for the office of lieutenant governor,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said she is “the most electable candidate, bar none, across party lines, and I am eager to share that with the electorate very shortly.”

Before leaving for the convention in May, Stevenson told The Darien Times she is a very different candidate than someone like Markley, with very different job responsibilities.

“He works with colleagues in Hartford every day, and has built those legislative relationships. We have a different skill set and different body of experience,” she said.

“We need leadership in Hartford who knows how to manage the relationship between state and local governments, and understands the impacts of legalization of laws and mandates,” Stevenson said.

“I have gotten great support and continue to get the support from my community to reach that goal. The Darien Republican Town Committee has been fantastic and really supportive,” she said.

“it’s time for people to stop supporting candidates who don’t have their backs. They’ve had over 30 years to try their play book. It’s time for a new team, new ideas and real fiscal discipline in place. People want to stay here in Connecticut,” she said.

The Republican primary will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 14.