BRIDGEPORT - Former state Sen. Ernie Newton pleaded not guilty to campaign fraud today as prosecutors continue to insist he obtained $80,000 in illegal contributions.

Officials say Newton manipulated the system by fraudulently qualifying for public financing in his attempt to return to the state Senate. The embattled politician is also facing a felony charge of tampering with a witness.

Former Bridgeport City Attorney Richard Scale says the public is tired of Newton's tactics, especially after he faced separate corruption charges in 2006. However, some constituents say he will rebound despite his criminal record. 

Newton is scheduled to be back in court at the end of the month.