Former fashion executive Jack Orchulli, who lost in two statewide races in 2004 and 2010, told Capitol Watch that he is dropping out of the race for state treasurer.
A Darien Republican, Orchulli had been battling for delegates against two Republicans – Trumbull first selectman Timothy Herbst and longtime investment executive C. Robert Eick of Ridgefield.
\”I decided to drop out of this race,\’\’ Orchulli told Capitol Watch. \”The fundraising just was not happening. I didn\’t see a reason to continue on with it.\’\’
Orchulli is probably best known in the Connecticut political world as the Fairfield County millionaire who funded his own race against U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd in 2004 when Dodd was near the top of his popularity. Orchulli also lost against Democrat Kevin Lembo in the race for state comptroller in 2010.
State Treasurer Denise Nappier was unaware that Orchulli was getting out of the race until being told Friday morning by Capitol Watch. She said she understood Orchulli\’s reasoning because raising money to qualify for public campaign financing is difficult.
\”It\’s rough,\’\’ Nappier said.
Orchulli, 67, made his fortune as a partner with famed fashion mogul Michael Kors, who has become more prominent in recent years as he is now listed on the Forbes 400 list of the nation’s richest billionaires. Orchulli sold his interest in 2003 in the company, which later went public in December 2011. Kors’s wealth has exploded as the stock price has jumped through the years.
Orchulli got soundly defeated by Dodd in 2004 by a 2 to 1 margin of 66 to 33 percent as Dodd was winning his fifth term in the U.S. Senate.
Unlike his two previous races, Orchulli said recently that he would no longer self-fund his races. Instead, he was trying to raise $75,000 in small increments to qualify for public campaign matching funds for treasurer. The threshold for the governor\’s race is $250,000.
\”I did that twice,\’\’ he said of self-funding. \”It’s an expensive deal.’’ Continue reading