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CT GOP Convention Wrap: Boughton, Markley Lead Ticket, But Primaries Loom

May 14, 2018 By Staff
CT GOP Convention Wrap: Boughton, Markley Lead Ticket, But Primaries Loom

The mayor of Danbury and the state senator from Southington won party endorsements for governor and lieutenant governor, but both face primaries, along with numerous others.

The Connecticut Republican Party (CT GOP) held its biennial convention this weekend and, after hours of drama and hurried efforts by campaigns, delegates selected endorsed candidates for several statewide positions.

Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury) was the big winner of the weekend, defeating former First Selectman Tim Herbst (R-Trumbull) and businessman Steve Obsitnik on the third ballot to win the CT GOP’s endorsement for governor.

GOVERNOR DRAMA

The first ballot saw Boughton and Herbst win access to the primary, with State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) and Mike Handler missing the cut. (NOTE: Candidates with less than eight percent after the first ballot were automatically eliminated.)

The second ballot saw Obsitnik join Boughton and Herbst in the 15-percent club. Peter Lumaj, Mayor Mark Lauretti (R-Shelton), and Dave Walker missed the cut. (NOTE: Candidates with less than 15 percent after the second ballot were automatically eliminated.)

On the third ballot, Obsitnik informally released his delegates. That gave Boughton enough of an edge to win the party’s nomination.

Herbst and Obsitnik have vowed a primary, and businessmen Bob Stefanowski, David Stemerman, and Handler have started collecting signatures to petition on to the August ballot.

Mayor Mark Lauretti (R-Shelton) told Reclaim Connecticut last week he’d become a petition candidate if he fell short of 15 percent.

This means that the gubernatorial contest, which was an 11-way contest at the beginning of the weekend, could be a seven-way contest up to this August’s primary.

DOWN BALLOT

State Sen. Joe Markley (R-Southington) won the party’s endorsement for lieutenant governor on the first ballot.

Mayor Erin Stewart (R-New Britain), who dropped from governor to lieutenant governor on Friday, and First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson (R-Darien), have vowed primary challenges.

Attorney Susan Hatfield won the party’s endorsement for attorney general. John Shaban qualified for a primary, and will compete.

Thad Gray won a closely-contested fight for the treasurer nomination. State Sen. Art Linares (R-Westbrook) will challenge Gray in a primary.

Susan Chapman won an uncontested fight for secretary of state, and First Selectman Kurt Miller (R-Seymour) defeated businessman Mark Greenberg in the comptroller fight. It’s unclear if Greenberg will challenge.

Matt Corey won the party’s nomination for U.S. Senate. It’s unclear if Dominic Rapini will challenge in a primary.

Former Mayor Manny Santos (R-Meriden) won the party’s nomination for the competitive Fifth Congressional District seat. Southbury’s Ruby O’Neill will primary, but it’s unknown if businessman Rich DuPont will do the same.

Overall, this weekend cleared out who the party faithful trust most to carry Republicans to victory this fall. Little else, though, is settled, and a long, hot summer is ahead for many candidates.