HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- Republican gubernatorial candidate and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton found a new running mate on Friday, joining forces with Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti to raise campaign funds needed to qualify for public financing for the Aug. 12 Republican primary.
The move came a day after Boughton's first pick for a running mate ended their association.
Lauretti told The Associated Press he filed the necessary paperwork Friday to switch from a petitioning candidate for governor to a petitioning candidate for lieutenant governor. Boughton has agreed to help him collect signatures of at least 8,190 registered Republicans by June 10.
Meanwhile, Lauretti said he will help Boughton raise the $250,000 in small contributions needed to qualify for the $1.25 million in public financing for the primary and $6 million for the general election, should he win the primary. Boughton has already raised approximately $160,000.
"It became a function of time with me," Lauretti said, referring to the looming deadline to collect the petition signatures. "Now I've got Boughton in Danbury helping me with the signatures and I'm helping him with the fundraising."
The decision by Lauretti and Boughton to team up comes after Boughton's original running mate, Groton Town Councilor Heather Somers, announced she was running solo for lieutenant governor in the primary and would not pool her campaign funds with Boughton. State Rep. Penny Bacchiochi won the Republican Party's endorsement for lieutenant governor on Saturday, but Somers and former U.S. Comptroller David Walker each received enough delegate support to qualify for the lieutenant governor primary.
Walker has teamed up with another GOP gubernatorial primary candidate, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney. He filed the necessary paperwork on Friday to run in the lieutenant governor primary.
Greenwich businessman Tom Foley, the party's 2010 gubernatorial candidate, received the party's endorsement for governor. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy won his party's nomination last weekend to seek a second term.
Heath Fahle, Boughton's campaign spokesman, said the mayor was disappointed by Somers' decision but hinted on Thursday that the campaign had "an alternative strategy." On Friday, he confirmed that Boughton and Lauretti had formed a joint committee. He said paperwork would be filed with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
Fahle said the two mayors have known each other for years.
"They have a healthy respect for each other because they know what they deal with every day," he said.