Freshman Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-Wolcott) drew her first significant 2020 challenge yesterday. David X. Sullivan (R), who just retired as an Assistant US Attorney after 30 years of service, immediately announced his congressional candidacy. Though the 5th District plays as being somewhat competitive (Trump ’16: 46-50%), it is unlikely that Rep. Hayes would be in danger of losing her seat in a presidential year from a non-battleground state.
Though Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy has never indicated that he would become a presidential candidate in 2020, his name often surfaced as an individual looking to make a run for the national office. Yesterday, Sen. Murphy addressed the rumors and stated flatly that he will not be a candidate for President next year, saying that he will continue to fulfill the duties of his current office.
Two Connecticut universities released their own survey data about the upcoming open Governor’s race, and each arrives at rather different conclusions. New Haven’s Quinnipiac University (8/16-21; 1,029 CT registered voters) sees Democratic nominee Ned Lamont opening up a substantial lead over Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski (46-33%). But, Fairfield’s Sacred Heart University (8/16-21; 502 CT likely voters), in a survey taken during the same period but with a smaller and more refined sampling universe, sees Stefanowski closing to only a 41-37% deficit. The Connecticut race is expected to be close, just as the last two Nutmeg State gubernatorial contests have been. Two-term Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is not seeking a third term.
Forty states have now chosen nominees as voters in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin went to the polls yesterday. Competitive Governors races will occur in Connecticut (Democrat Ned Lamont vs. Republican Bob Stefanowski), Minnesota (Democrat Tim Walz vs. Republican Jeff Johnson), Vermont (Gov. Phil Scott (R) vs. Democrat Christine Hallquist), and Wisconsin (Gov. Scott Walker (R) vs. Democrat Tony Evers).
The key Senate contests coming from yesterday’s votes are in Minnesota (Sen. Tina Smith (D) vs. Republican Karin Housley) and Wisconsin (Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) vs. Republican Leah Vukmir).
The major story came from Minnesota where former two-term Gov. Tim Pawlenty lost his comeback bid in a Republican primary loss to 2014 gubernatorial nominee Jeff Johnson.
Today, voters in another four states go to the polls: Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin. We will provide coverage of the results tomorrow. The most interesting races are the Minnesota Governor’s campaign and several of the state’s congressional races. The Wisconsin Senator and Governor’s contest will also draw major attention.
Originally in this election cycle ten Democrats were running for Governor, but now the field has now dwindled to just two. Businessman Guy Smith, who did not participate in the party nominating convention because he said he would qualify for the ballot via petition signatures yesterday failed to meet the minimum standard. Therefore, the August 14th Democratic primary now evolves to only businessman and former US Senate candidate Ned Lamont, the officially endorsed candidate, and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.
Mr. Lamont is heavily favored to win the Democratic primary. Though Mr. Ganim has been elected five times as Bridgeport’s Mayor, he was also convicted for public corruption and spent seven years in federal prison. Still, he managed to win the mayoral post again in 2015, and now enters the statewide campaign.
Five Republicans are competing for the GOP nomination. The general election appears surprisingly competitive. Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is retiring after two terms in office.
Businessman Ned Lamont, the founder of Campus Televideo, a company that provides video and data services to colleges and universities, easily won the official Democratic primary endorsement at the state party convention this weekend. Mr. Lamont’s victory was so complete that his top challenger, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim did not even secure enough support to qualify for the primary ballot. He pledges to force an August 14th primary through petition, however. Mr. Ganim was originally elected Mayor in 1991 and served until 2003 when he resigned after being convicted of 16 federal crimes including bribery and extortion. He would serve seven years in federal prison, but returned to Bridgeport only to be re-elected Mayor in 2015. It appears that Mr. Ganim will stand little chance against Mr. Lamont in a Democratic primary, if the race gets that far.
This is Mr. Lamont’s second run for Governor. He lost the Democratic nomination to current Gov. Dan Malloy in 2010. Four years earlier, he denied re-nomination to Sen. Joe Lieberman, but lost the general election when the Senator obtained a ballot position as an Independent. The 2018 Connecticut gubernatorial general election looks to be competitive.
Earlier in the week it was reported that former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz had dropped out of the race and formed a ticket with gubernatorial candidate and former US Senate nominee Ned Lamont. Now, ex-Connecticut Veterans Affairs Commissioner Sean Connelly has also dropped out of the race and endorsed the Lamont-Bysiewicz ticket. The remaining strong gubernatorial candidates are Lamont, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, and businessman Guy Smith. Claiming this weekend’s Democratic Party endorsing convention is already “rigged”, Mr. Smith is qualifying for the ballot through petition signatures.
In 2006, Mr. Lamont defeated then-Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary. But, Mr. Lieberman still entered the general election after the primary loss as an Independent, permissible under Connecticut election law, and won re-election. In 2010, Mr. Lamont ran for Governor but lost the Democratic primary to current incumbent Dan Malloy.
This weekend, the Connecticut Democrats will meet in convention to officially endorse party candidates. In response to developments earlier in the week, the delegates will have more to consider. Former Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz announced that she was dropping out of the Governor’s race and will instead form a ticket with fellow candidate Ned Lamont who, in 2006, denied Sen. Joe Lieberman re-nomination in the Connecticut Democratic primary. Under the state’s election law, Mr. Lieberman was still able to qualify as an Independent candidate despite losing in a partisan primary election. Sen. Lieberman went on to win the general election in that year despite not being a major party nominee.
Ms. Bysiewicz will now run for Lt. Governor, but act as part of a ticket with Mr. Lamont who remains in the Governor’s contest. In addition to Mr. Lamont, six other Democrats are competing for the party nomination. The seat is open because Gov. Dan Malloy (D) is not seeking re-election.
After the district Republican endorsing convention where delegates officially endorsed Meriden Mayor Manny Santos for the official party nomination, retired psychology professor Ruby O’Neill immediately said she would force an August 14th primary election. Now, businessman Rich DuPont, who also secured enough convention delegate votes to advance to the primary ballot announced yesterday that he, too, will compete in the August election. Democrats also look to have a contested primary. The seat is open because Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-Cheshire) is retiring.
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