CLOSING ARGUMENT: Steve Obsitnik, Candidate for GovernorMay 9, 2018
Obsitnik believes his background, as a veteran and a "job-builder," is the key to GOP victory in the governor's race this fall.
“I’m the only person who’s actually built real jobs,” Steve Obsitnik told Reclaim Connecticut this week, previewing the kind of argument he’ll take to delegates at this Saturday’s CT GOP convention in Foxwoods.
“I think I have the boldest vision for Connecticut,” Obsitnik said, “which is a five-step plan to create 300,000 jobs in Connecticut over the next eight years.”
Obsitnik thinks those numbers, and that plan, will resonate with delegates this weekend and with GOP primary voters in August, as his campaign for governor wraps up one stage and looks to enter another.
We checked in with Obsitnik 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.
“I feel very good about the 15 percent,” Obsitnik said, “and I feel very good about the grant request in to the state.”
Obsitnik was referencing the campaign’s request for election grants under the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP). It’s a step most statewide campaigns are going through ahead of the summer’s primary campaign.
“We need both of them to get on the primary,” Obsitnik said, in reference to the 15 percent and the CEP grants. “We’re feeling good about our momentum.”
If he doesn’t hit 15 percent at the convention, though, Obsitnik is one of the few Republican candidates to commit to stepping aside. “If I can’t spend a year of my life and convince 15 percent of the people that I’m the right person,” Obsitnik said, “I don’t move forward.”
“Specifically, I don’t think candidates should work outside the process and petition to get on the primary ballot,” Obsitnik added. “I’ll work within the party to support whoever the candidate will be.”
As for matching up with a Democrat in the fall, Obsitnik appears to have a clear vision for how he’ll make a contrast.
“Democratic control of Connecticut, especially in the legislature, has taken us down a road to ruin,” Obsitnik said. The state, Obsitnik added, needs a “pragmatic business outsider, in my case, served in the military here, who has a bold plan for Connecticut.”
Obsitnik also stood out for a new kind of pledge.
“This is the last political office I will ever run for, to be governor for one or two terms,” Obsitnik said, arguing he has no designs for a D.C. position. “I don’t wanna be your failed U.S. senator.”
Until the fall, though, Obsitnik will be preparing for the convention by doing “just what we’ve been doing the last year.”
“[A] steady strain of meeting people, making the outreach, making the overture why I am the most electable Republican given my background as a military veteran, as a high-tech CEO and job-builder, as someone who understands our problems and has the most thoughtful plan.”
Time will tell if delegates, and primary voters, also determine Obsitnik has the most thoughtful plan for the state.
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