In an invitation to a Washington fundraiser sent by a veterans’ political group, Justin Bernier is proclaimed to the be the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in the crowded 5th Congressional District.

“Justin Bernier is the frontrunner for the ‘open seat’ in CD5 — Connecticut’s most Republican district. Bernier has outraised all GOP competitors in the race; he posted $160,000 in Q3 and was the only Republican to increase his total from Q2. Bernier for Congress is the only campaign in CD5 with a significant number of party endorsements ahead of the critical Connecticut Republican Convention. Contributors to Bernier include Haley’s PAC, BGR PAC, Freedom’s Defense Fund, One Nation PAC, and Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress PAC. Bernier is an Afghanistan War Veteran and a former member of Governor M. Jodi Rell’s cabinet. The NRCC put him ‘On the Radar’ in June.”

It’s true, the NRCC did put him “On the Radar.” But it’s also true they put all four Republicans on the list. The GOP field has since expanded to five with the entry of Sen. Andrew Roraback of Goshen into the race.

The invite to the fundraiser, which will be held Thursday at the Capitol Hill Club, was sent by Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans for Congress. Bernier served in Afghanistan as an intelligence officer in the naval reserve.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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