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Romney Leads Westport Money Race Before Primary

WESTPORT, Conn. – Registered Westport Republicans will hit the polls today and select their favorite candidate for the White House. But if campaign contributions are any indication, it seems Westporters have chosen Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor.

Residents have so far donated $309,521 to candidate campaigns, according to , a project of the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks money in U.S. politics. Romney, 65, has received $191,801 in campaign funds from Westport as of April 23. That's more than 61 percent of Westport’s total contributions.

Bob Zappi, chairman of the Westport Republican Town Committee, said the committee has not endorsed a specific candidate. But he said the committee believes Romney is the most appealing candidate to voters.

“I think one of the primary things voters find, or will find appealing about him, is that he can get our financial house in order,” Zappi said. “He can deal with the excessive spending to rein in the costs of government.”

In comparison to the nearly $192,000 Romney received through 123 donations, Republican opponents Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul have, together, received $5,652 in contributions from Westport. Rick Santorum, who ended his campaign bid earlier this month but will still appear on the primary ballot, received $1,000 in contributions.

Romney isn’t just soaring past his fellow Republican contenders; he leads President Barack Obama by more than $100,000. Obama, as of April 23, has received $84,569 from Westport residents through 102 donations.

“I think that’s very telling,” Zappi said of the numbers. “And Westport is a Democratic town.”

Republican Registrar of Voters Bob Lasprogato said there are 4,815 registered Republicans in Westport. Of those, some are newly registered this year, and some previously unaffiliated voters turned Republican for the primary, he said.

Lasprogato said he expects turnout at the polls today to be moderate.

If declared the Republican nominee, Romney will succeed against Obama in November, Zappi said.

“A poll I’m seeing indicates it’s a very close race — definitely within the margin of error,” he said. "Romney has a proven track record of success and would bring all that experience to the White House.”

Polling places will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Any resident unsure of his or her voting district and designated polling place can find out on the town's website.

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