The main bout today is Tom Foley vs. John P. McKinney in the Republican primary for governor, with a secondary focus on a three-way race for lieutenant governor. But the careers of eight incumbents in the General Assembly also are on the line in Democratic primaries.
Nearly half involve Bridgeport, where both of the city’s state senators and one state representative have challenges; and Ernest Newton II, a former House and Senate member, is making his second comeback attempt after a stint in prison.
In all, there are 18 legislative primaries involving 13 Democratic and five Republican nominations. The GOP fights all involve House seats. Democrats are scuffling over four Senate and nine House nominations.
Most of the legislative races are fueled by local politics and personalities. An exception is in 22nd Senatorial District of Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe, where Marilyn Moore’s challenge of Sen. Anthony J. Musto is backed by state and national liberal groups behind the so-called “Walmart bill.”
Working Families for America, an affiliate of the Working Families Party, made an independent expenditure of $10,689 to canvass and make mailing in support of Moore. She also is supported by the Connecticut Citizen Action Group.
Moore backs a legislative goal of the two groups: Legislation that would give large national retailers like Walmart a choice: pay their employees a still-to-be-defined living wage, or pay into a fund meant to offset the costs of food, health, housing and other subsidies available to low-wage workers.
The district now represented by Musto includes all of Trumbull and portions of Bridgeport and Monroe.
Musto, who lives in Trumbull, is a lawyer who was elected in 2008 and re-elected in 2010 and 2012. Moore is the founder of The Witness Project, a non-profit group combatting breast cancer among low-income African-American women. She lives in Bridgeport.
Sen. Andres Ayala, D-Bridgeport, who defeated former Sen. Ed Gomes in a primary two years ago, faces his own nomination challenge from Scott Hughes in the 23rd Senatorial District of Bridgeport and Stratford. The other Bridgeport incumbent facing a challenge is Rep. Christina Ayala, a Democrat.
Last fall, the State Elections Enforcement Commission concluded that the first-term legislator used a false address to vote in nine primaries and general elections, including the 2012 race in which she was elected to the General Assembly. The case has been referred to the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney for review.
The other incumbent senator facing a primary is Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield. In a three-way primary, his main competition is Shawn Wooden, the president of the Hartford City Council, in the 2nd Senatorial District of Bloomfield, Hartford and Windsor. Wooden won the convention endorsement.
In Norwalk, two House Democrats have primaries: Chris Perone and Bruce Morris. The other incumbents with primaries are Douglas McCrory of Hartford and Linda A. Orange of Colchester. Orange is opposed by Jason Paul, a gun-control supporter whose campaign has focused on Orange’s vote against the post-Newtown gun law.
Only one Republican incumbent has a primary fight: Rep. Ben McGorty of Shelton, the winner of last month’s special election to succeed the late Rep. Larry Miller, R-Stratford, in the 122 House District of Shelton, Stratford and Trumbull.
Overlooked in the primary season has been the GOP primary for comptroller: Sharon McLaughlin, the convention-endorsed candidate, is challenged by Angel Cadena, Jr.
Cadena is the only candidate in any primary endorsed by the Family Institute of Connecticut, a conservative group opposed to abortion, gay rights and assisted suicide.
A list of today’s primaries:
|Governor||Republican||*Thomas C. Foley|
|John P. McKinney|
|Lieutenant Governor||Republican||*Penny Bacchiochi|
|David M. Walker|
|Comptroller||Republican||*Sharon J. McLaughlin|
|State Senate – 2||Democratic||*Shawn Wooden|
|Eric D. Coleman|
|State Senate – 20||Democratic||*Elizabeth B. Ritter|
|William L. Satti|
|State Senate – 22||Democratic||*Anthony J. Musto|
|State Senate – 23||Democratic||*Andres Ayala, Jr.|
|Assembly District – 7||Democratic||*Douglas McCrory|
|Assembly District – 23||Republican||*Devin R. Carney|
|Assembly District – 32||Democratic||*Kathleen G. Richards|
|Anthony “Tony” Salvatore|
|Assembly District – 44||Democratic||*Christine Rosati|
|Assembly District – 47||Republican||No Endorsement|
|Michael P. Meadows|
|Assembly District – 48||Democratic||*Linda A. Orange|
|Assembly District – 64||Republican||*Brian Ohler|
|Assembly District – 122||Republican||*Ben McGorty|
|Michael C. Vickerelli|
|Assembly District – 124||Democratic||*Ernie Newton|
|Assembly District – 128||Democratic||*Christopher Rosario|
|Assembly District – 133||Democratic||*Cristin McCarthy Vahey|
|Assembly District – 137||Democratic||*David Watts|
|Assembly District – 140||Democratic||*Bruce Morris|
|Assembly District – 142||Republican||*Emily Wilson|
|Probate District Plainfield – Killingly – 27||Democratic||*Andrea Truppa|
|Probate District Madison – Guilford – 34||Republican||*William Bilcheck|
|Gail S. Kotowski|
|Registrar of Voters – Bristol||Democratic||*Kevin McCauley|
|Registrar of Voters – Chaplin||Republican||*Kevin McCauley|
|William L. Jenkins|
|Registrar of Voters – Danbury||Democratic||*Susan Lewis Ward|
|Margaret F. Gallo|
|Registrar of Voters – Hampton||Democratic||*Marilynn S. Higgins|
|Matthew E. LaFontaine|
|Registrar of Voters – North Stonington||Democratic||*Marilyn MacKay|
|Joan L. Kepler|
|Registrar of Voters – Norwalk||Republican||*John F. Federici|
|Karen Doyle Lyons|
|Registrar of Voters – Somers||Republican||*William Karl Walton III|
|David P. McCaffrey|