Donald Trump invites Rep. Tony D'Amelio, R-Waterbury, onto the stage during an April rally at Crosby High School in Waterbury. D'Amelio will be a delegate to the GOP convention. Kyle Constable /
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Sen. Michael McLachlan are Trump delegates. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, center, is not. and Sen. Len Fasano,
House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Sen. Michael McLachlan are Trump delegates. Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, center, is not. CTMIRROR.ORG

Connecticut’s delegation to the Republican National Convention will be a mix of neophytes smitten with the outsider politics of Donald J. Trump, as well as pillars of a GOP establishment still adjusting to him as the party’s presumptive nominee.

The Bush family may be spurning Trump, but one of George W. Bush’s old fundraisers, former Ambassador Charles L. Glazer of Greenwich, is a Trump delegate. So are two former GOP state chairs, Herb Shepardson and Richard Foley. Another, Chris Healy, is an alternate.

“Charlie supported Donald Trump. Everyone on that list supported Donald Trump in different ways,” said Benjamin Proto of Stratford, a longtime GOP activist who helped Justin Clark of West Hartford manage Trump’s campaign in the state.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides of Derby, where Trump won 75 percent of the vote in the Connecticut primary last month, is one of five legislators chosen as a delegate or alternate, despite expressing an early preference for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Donald J. Trump invites Rep. Tony D'Amelio onto the stage at a rally. D'Amelio will be a delegate.
Donald J. Trump invites Rep. Tony D’Amelio onto the stage at a rally. D’Amelio, the first legislator to endorse Trump, will be a delegate. Kyle Constable /
Donald J. Trump invites Rep. Tony D’Amelio onto the stage at a rally. D’Amelio, the first legislator to endorse Trump, will be a delegate. Kyle Constable /

Sen. Art Linares of Westbrook, one of the first two Hispanics elected to the Connecticut Senate, and Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas of Naugatuck are alternates. Sen. Michael McLachlan of Danbury and Rep. Anthony J. D’Amelio of Waterbury are delegates. Rep. John H. Frey of Ridgefield is a superdelegate as a member of the Republican National Committee.

Linda McMahon of Greenwich, the World Wrestling Entertainment co-founder who spent $50 million on each of two losing campaigns for U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012, will be joining them in Cleveland this summer as a delegate. Betsy McCaughey of Greenwich, the former lieutenant governor of New York, is an alternate.

Jeffrey Santopietro, the brother of former Waterbury Mayor Joseph Santopietro, is a delegate.

The 25 delegates and 25 alternates selected by the Trump campaign were formally accepted Monday by the Republican State Central Committee. A copy was provided to the CT Mirror on Tuesday evening.

Proto, who has worked on other presidential campaigns, said the names were chosen after conversations by the state and national campaign staffs. The national campaign identified friends and business associates of the candidate as potential delegates.

“Linda McMahon is a long-time personal friend, from what we’ve been told, of Mr. Trump,” Proto said.

McMahon’s alternate will be Bob Ferguson, an early Trump supporter who recently was elected Republican town chairman of Weston.

Others delegates are relative newcomers to Connecticut politics like Susan Hatfield of Pomfret, a lawyer who was a young policy aide to Newt Gingrich while he was speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

An early volunteer, Susan Hatfield of Pomfret, is a Trump delegate.
An early volunteer, Susan Hatfield of Pomfret, is a Trump delegate. She was at the state convention Monday.

“When Trump came into the picture, just like many, many people all across the country, I became interested in this candidate who was outside the establishment,” she said. “He’s really like my former boss: he thinks outside the box.”

She said she made hundreds of calls, buttonholed friends and became the de facto distributor of Trump lawn signs in her quiet corner of Connecticut, eventually delivering 800. Her volunteer work was not easy: Hatfield is a state prosecutor with a long daily commute, and she and her husband, a law enforcement officer, have two children, ages 4 and 8.

Hatfield said she loves that Trump does not parse his words.

“He plays his own game. He’s confident in his own skin. His approach is his own approach,” she said. “I think that’s what people like; he is a real person, and he sticks by what he believes is right for the country.”

Proto, a lawyer in Stratford, worked in Connecticut for John McCain’s two presidential campaigns in 2000 and 2008. In 2012 he volunteered for Mitt Romney in New Hampshire.

This year, he said he admired some of the more conventional candidates like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kasich. But they eventually struck him as too conventional for an unconventional time.

“I’ve gotten to that point in my life when I’m more interested in finding new ways to solve old problems,” he said.

That led him to go work for Trump with Clark, a West Hartford lawyer who ran Tom Foley’s losing campaign for governor.

Trump won 58 percent of the vote in the three-way Connecticut primary with Kasich and Ted Cruz, carrying all five congressional districts and 165 of the state’s 169 cities and towns. The results earned him 25 delegates: 10 at-large delegates for winning the state and three for each of the five congressional districts he also won.

Three others are superdelegates because of the positions they hold: J.R. Romano, the state chairman; and two members of the Republican National Committee, Patricia Longo and Frey, who also is a state represntative. All three are committed to Trump.

Connecticut Delegation to the 2016 Republican National Convention
There also are three superdelegates: Chairman J.R. Romano and the two Republican National Committee members, John H. Frey and Patricia Longo
Delegates Alternates
Anthony D’Amelio Waterbury Jackie Bertolone Norwalk
Jeffrey Santopietro Waterbury Lori McArdle Fairfield
Justin Clark West Hartford Wendell Davis Hebron
Mariane Clark Avon Andy Wainwright Stamford
Charles Glazer Greenwich Lance Bakrow Greenwich
Derek Phelps Killingworth Rae Ann Curtis Hamden
Richard Foley Danbury Betsy McCaughey Greenwich
Kevin Moynihan New Canaan Chris Tymniak Fairfield
Jeffrey Ferraro Stamford Rosa Rebimbas Naugatuck
Michael Mason Greenwich Steve Vincio Avon
District delegates — 1
Francine Carrier Bristol Jake Carrier Bristol
Steve Bonafonte Hartford Chris Healy Wethersfield
Herb Shepardson West Hartford Elinor Carbone Torrington
District delegates — 2
Charles Bruckerhoff Chaplin Catherine Marx Hebron
Susan Hatfield Pomfret Art Linares Westbrook
Mary Anne Turner Enfield Jay Berardino Westbrook
District delegates — 3
Benjamin Proto Stratford Louis DeCilio Stratford
Themis Klarides Derby Jerry Farrell Wallingford
David Casetti Ansonia Pat Fers Ansonia
District delegates — 4
James Campbell Greenwich Richard Moccia Ridgefield
Annalisa Stravato Wilton Allen Levy Westport
Linda McMahon Greenwich Bob Ferguson Weston
District delegates — 5
Gary Giulietti Farmington Karen Kolo Waterbury
Sean Cleary Wolcott Lois Chludzinski New Milford
Michael McLachlan Danbury David Cappiello Newtown
Connecticut Republicans

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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