The stage is set for CT statewide elections in November. Or is it? In the middle of May both Republicans and Democrats held statewide conventions.
Democrat gubernatorial nominee Ned Lamont selected one of his remaining rivals, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, as his running mate. Lamont came away clean avoiding a final push by Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim to capture the 15% delegate threshold to force an August primary. Ganim, who seconded his (own) nomination at the convention, is collecting signatures needed before June 6th to get on the primary ballot outside the convention system. Avoiding a primary would bring unity to the Democratic Party and save the Lamont team valuable resources and funding for the General Election. Lamont’s running mate Bysiewicz, will face a primary by Eva Bermudez Zimmerman a political new comer from Newtown. Stamford Democrat William Tong, won the party’s endorsement for Attorney General but it is expected that this position will have three candidates in the August primary field.
On the Republican side it was chaos, as Party delegates helped thin the number of gubernatorial candidates, at least momentarily, when they gave Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton their endorsement; however, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst and Westport businessman Steve Obsitnik received enough support to primary. Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti and state Rep. Prasad Srinivasan are not giving up just yet either. They both need to gather over 9,000 signatures from registered Republican voters to make the August primary ballot. Two political outsiders, David Stemerman and Bob Stefanowski are also working to petition their way onto the ballot by gathering signatures. The lieutenant governor’s race is also going the primary route. State Senator Joe Markley from Southington was selected at the convention however he will face a spirited fight versus Erin Stewart, the current mayor of New Britain.
Registered Democrats far outnumber Republicans in our state. According to Secretary of the State official count, of Connecticut’s 2,318,251 registered voters, 481,336 are Republican compared to 848,493 Democrats and 956,463 unaffiliated. By these numbers, a Republican cannot win the governorship without attracting unaffiliated or Democratic voters.
In the State Senate the 2018 elections have the makings for a historic change. The current make up of 18 Democrats and 18 Republicans has allowed for two bipartisan budgets and minimal tax increases in the last two general assemblies. There are currently five open senate seats being contested in November. A swing either way could have much different outcomes for Connecticut’s grocery community. The House of Representatives currently with a slight Democratic majority also has an inordinate amount of districts openings in this years contests. Republican Themis Klarides is hoping to become the first female Speaker in state history.
The all-important primaries are on August 14th. CFA will be supporting candidates throughout the state who share our vision of growing the local economy, keeping our most talented and affluent residents home and making Connecticut a more affordable place to live.