Connecticut Primary, 2018
Congratulations to our client Ned Lamont on his decisive victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary yesterday. Below you’ll find a rundown of some other primary winners.
* A loser was conventional wisdom and establishment candidates. Lamont and LG candidate Susan Bysiewicz outpolled their rivals on the Democratic side and the party endorsed candidate for Lt. Governor – Joe Markley – prevailed on the Republican side, but other candidates favored by journalists and most political observers lost. Most notably, Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and the candidate seen as his chief rival for the Republican nomination for governor, former Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst. Both lost to newcomer Bob Stefanowski.
* As we always say, the media don’t lean Democratic or Republican; they are attracted to the exciting story. We heard and read what an eenergetic great campaign for governor felon Joe Ganim was running… that LG candidate Eva Bermudez Zimmerman was capturing the imagination of the electorate… and that former Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes was catching fire. Once the results were in last night, Hayes indeed emerged as the Democratic nominee for Congress in the 5th District, but Ganim and Bermudez Zimmerman both lost decisively.
* There is a wild card to consider in the race for governor and that is the status of former Republican turned independent Oz Griebel. He is awaiting final word from the Secretary of the State’s office on whether he has gathered enough valid signatures to successfully petition his way onto the ballot. We should know no later than September 5 whether this will be a three-way race for governor featuring three former businessmen or a more conventional two-way race between the nominees of the major parties.
Democrats – Ned Lamont
Republicans – Bob Stefanowski
Democrats – Susan Bysiewicz
Republicans – Senator Joe Markley
Democrats – State Representative William Tong
Republicans – Susan Hatfield
Democrats – Shawn Wooden
Republicans – Thad Grey
Republican – Kurt Miller
Will face incumbent Kevin Lembo
Other races of note:
* In the 5th Congressional District, former “Teacher of the Year” Jahana Hayes outpolled former Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman, and is now poised to become the first African-American woman to represent a New England state in Congress. By conventional standards this outcome is considered an upset, but look for Glassman to potentially land a role in the next administration if Lamont wins.
* 22-year state House veteran Andy Fleischmann of West Hartford lost to former school board member Jillian Gilchrest. The outcome of this House race is perhaps the best example of voters rejecting a long-time incumbent, largely because he has been around so long. Most observers have noted that there is little policy difference between Fleischmann and Gilchrest. The winning difference – a new name and fresh face. Fleischmann could also land a role in a Lamont administration, perhaps in the area of education policy where he has focused his work as a lawmaker.
* Longtime House Transportation Chair Tony Guerrera lost his bid for the state Senate to fellow House member Matt Lesser. Here too, a veteran lawmaker who should have had an electoral advantage based on seniority lost to a lawmaker with fewer years of experience and who is seen as operating outside the middle lane of the party.
On to November!