CLOSING ARGUMENT: Mayor Mark Boughton, Candidate for GovernorMay 10, 2018
How one of the frontrunners feels about 15 percent, the primary field, Ned Lamont, and more.
“I’m gonna be very happy to spread our message across the state of Connecticut,” Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury) told Reclaim Connecticut last week. “[When] you look at everybody on the race, what makes us different is I’ve been reelected time and time again in an urban area.”
That’s part of Boughton’s closing arguments headed into this weekend’s CT GOP convention at Foxwoods, where he’s expected to be one of the top competitors.
Boughton is considered a frontrunner heading into convention weekend, along with former First Selectman Tim Herbst (R-Trumbull).
We checked in with Boughton as part of Reclaim Connecticut’s ongoing “Closing Argument” series, where candidates competing at May’s statewide conventions – and, potentially, August’s primaries – have a chance to make their case to convention delegates and voters.
A candidate has to earn the support of 15 percent of the delegates at the convention to automatically qualify for the August primary. If he or she doesn’t hit 15 percent, they can petition their way onto the primary ballot, though it can be a long and expensive process. Whoever earns 50 percent of delegates’ votes, after any number of rounds of voting, wins the party endorsement.
Boughton’s focused more on the 50 percent than the 15.
“I think that’s — we’re not worried about the 15 percent,” Boughton said. “We’re really looking at 50 percent plus one.”
Boughton noted “there’s a lot of candidates” – perhaps the understatement of the year – but added “we’re in very strong shape.”
The Danbury mayor is anticipating a “full field” in the primary.
“We expect between five and six candidates,” Boughton said, “with an outsize chance of seven candidates.”
Who does that include? Boughton didn’t say, but you can bet he and Herbst, and petitioning candidates Bob Stefanowski and David Stemerman, will be on the August primary ballot. A few other candidates may hit 15 percent this weekend and qualify, or try to petition their way onto the ballot this summer.
“We can only control what we do,” Boughton cautioned. “We’re calling delegates, doing mail pieces, and doing a lot of person-to-person contact.”
BOUGHTON V. LAMONT?
But when it comes to the fall, Boughton would be ready for a potential challenge with businessman Ned Lamont, increasingly the frontrunner in the Democratic field.
“Here’s the bottom line: Ned Lamont was born with a silver spoon in his mouth,” Boughton said. “I was born washing dishes, and serving in the military … and connecting with the residents in our state.”
“I think we’ve had enough of the millionaires,” Boughton added.
The fall is still months away, though. First comes Saturday’s convention. “We’re just honored. We’ve had such strong support from delegates,” Boughton concluded. “We’re honored by their faith in us.”
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