Oakes may abandon U.S. Senate bid soon, would back Murphy over Bysiewicz

Political newcomer Matthew Oakes, an East Hartford Democrat who’s been trying to petition his way onto the Democratic primary ballot for U.S. Senate, said at Saturday’s Democratic State Convention he may soon abandon that bid.

Oakes, who already has collected about 9,000 of the roughly 14,600 signatures he needs, said he would decide shortly after the convention whether to continue, or to support U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, D-5th District.

“Chris and I hit it off very well and he is more in line with the people I have talked to,” Oakes said, adding that he won’t support Murphy’s chief rival, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz.

Oakes said he particularly was disappointed with Bysiewicz, a Middletown Democrat, during 2010, when she switched from campaigning for governor to attorney general — and wouldn’t rule out — if elected AG — running for U.S. Senate during her first term. “I have some issues with Susan,” Oakes said. “It comes off as running for power” rather than to serve the public.