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CT-Gov.: Both Parties Endorse Candidates, Primaries Underway

May 21, 2018 By Staff
CT-Gov.: Both Parties Endorse Candidates, Primaries Underway

Reclaim Connecticut's weekly update on the gubernatorial (and downballot) races returns.

Every Monday, Reclaim Connecticut will bring readers an update on campaign trail activity from the crowded Connecticut gubernatorial race. Last week’s CT GOP convention wrap served as our weekly update. See the CT Dems convention wrap here.


As of Sunday, Connecticut’s political parties are done with the convention stage, the longest but least consequential of three campaign stages every election cycle (convention, primary, general).

On the GOP side, delegates endorsed Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury). Boughton could face at least five primary challengers, though: ex-First Selectman Tim Herbst (R-Trumbull), Mayor Mark Lauretti (R-Shelton) businessmen Bob Stefanowski and David Stemerman, and businessman and former congressional candidate Steve Obsitnik.

On the Democratic side, delegates overwhelmingly endorsed Ned Lamont. Ex-con Mayor Joe Ganim (D-Bridgeport) is aiming for a petition-backed primary challenge, but time will tell if he collects the required signatures.

Will the fall matchup be Boughton v. Lamont? Will another GOP candidate gain steam this summer and leapfrog Boughton? Will Lamont keep the Democratic crown away from Ganim? It’s shaping up to be an incredible race.


Herbst, for his part, is ready for a primary with Boughton and others:

“I am overwhelmed by the tremendous support I received from so many great Republicans at the CTGOP Convention and could not be more excited to now take my record of proven reform and outsider message directly to Republican Primary voters,” Herbst said. “Republican voters deserve a nominee they can trust, not only to win the November election, but to bring fundamental change to Hartford and fight for their values.”

He’s already going after Boughton for criticizing Lamont’s wealth (“Republicans are never going to defeat the Democrats by channeling their divisive rhetoric that demonizes success,” Herbst said).

Stemerman is already ready for a primary; he’s already out with his second television ad of a $400,000 media buy.

Boughton, meanwhile, seems focused on Lamont, releasing a statement on Saturday calling Lamont “one of Malloy’s closest political friends and allies[,] who sat idly by as he sewed economic strife and decimated Connecticut families.”

Lauretti, Stefanowski, and Stemerman trying to petition their way on to the August primary ballot. Obsitnik is on the ballot by virtue of earning 15 percent at last weekend’s convention.


Beyond the contested gubernatorial races, there’s drama in the races for lieutenant governor, treasurer, the Fifth Congressional District, and more.

Ruby O’Neill and Rich DuPont will challenge ex-Mayor Manny Santos (R-Meriden) for the Republican nomination in the Fifth this summer. O’Neill filed this week after winning “an unexpected 41% of delegates,” as her campaign put it, and DuPont is expected to file soon.

Meanwhile, as Reclaim Connecticut pointed out in its Dem convention wrap, the lieutenant gubernatorial primary between Susan Bysiewicz and Eva Bermudez Zimmerman may be one of the most contentious in the state.