One of the state’s leading progressive advocacy organizations, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, announced endorsements Wednesday for Democrats Christopher Murphy and Christopher Donovan.

Murphy, Connecticut’s 5th District congressman, picked up the endorsement of the Democratic State Convention two weeks ago to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by four-term incumbent Joseph I. Lieberman of New Haven. But former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz of Middletown captured 24 percent of the convention vote — easily surpassing the 15 percent threshold needed to force an Aug. 14 primary for the party’s U.S. Senate nomination.

Donovan, the House speaker in the General Assembly, won the convention endorsement to run for Murphy’s seat. But the party’s nomination in the 5th District also is headed for a primary. Former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire and Kent Democrat Dan Roberti won enough delegate votes to qualify.

“It is essential that Connecticut send Chris and Chris to represent us in Washington,” said Tom Swan, executive director of CCAG, which has over 20,000 members. “We would be hard pressed to think of any two elected officials who could fight more effectively for Connecticut’s families.”

CCAG worked closely with Murphy on health care issues when he was a state legislator, Swan noted, also praising Murphy for his support of Connecticut’s public financing program for state elections.

Murphy has continued to work for reform in Congress, CCAG said, pushing for an independent ethics process, meaningful health care legislation and for government procurement of American-made products.

“Chris has a tremendous track record of standing up to moneyed interests to make government work more effectively for Connecticut families,” Swan said.

Donovan, a former CCAG organizer, “has done more to advance CCAG’s issue agenda than any other legislator,” the organization wrote in its endorsement statement. “Whether it be environmental protection, good government, social justice or health care issues Chris Donovan worked with CCAG to ensure the public’s voice was heard.”

“Congress needs a principled fighter like Chris Donovan in these trying times,” added John Murphy, CCAG political director. “Chris has been able to accomplish a great deal, while staying true to his values, the same ones he exhibited in his days at CCAG.”

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Keith M. PhaneufState Budget Reporter

Keith has spent most of his 31 years as a reporter specializing in state government finances, analyzing such topics as income tax equity, waste in government and the complex funding systems behind Connecticut’s transportation and social services networks. He has been the state finances reporter at CT Mirror since it launched in 2010. Prior to joining CT Mirror Keith was State Capitol bureau chief for The Journal Inquirer of Manchester, a reporter for the Day of New London, and a former contributing writer to The New York Times. Keith is a graduate of and a former journalism instructor at the University of Connecticut.

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