Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this:
State Rep. Frank Nicastro said he will return more than $10,000 in state-financed campaign funds that he won't need to use this year.
Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat whose new Republican opponent, David L. Norton, is running only a symbolic campaign, said he has stopped spending money on his campaign.
"I spent enough," said Nicastro, who said he is proud of his 100 percent voting record and the work he's done for the district in his first term. "I don't believe I need the rest of the money."
Nicastro said he raised more than $5,000, which qualified him for $25,000 in public financing for his campaign. He said he will return $10,000 to $12,000 of that money.
"I don't feel I should spend that money," said Nicastro. "Because of the circumstances, the rest of the money probably isn't needed."
Nicastro's original opponent in the race this year, Derek Jerome, died this week of an apparent suicide. Norton has stepped in to honor Jerome's belief in giving voters a choice, but has said his is largely a symbolic gesture.
Nicastro, a former longtime Bristol mayor who currently serves on the city council, said he had spent about half the money, mostly on mailings, before he learned of Jerome's death.
At this point, Nicastro said, he has to follow through with the expenditures he's made.
"Everything that I had committed to, I have to honor," said Nicastro, who said he has mailings going on out his positions on criminal justice reform, services for veterans, his voting record and issues involving children's safety. It's too late to cancel those, he said.
"The printing's all been done," said Nicastro. "The checks have been written."
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