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Manny Santos Courtesy of Manny Santos

Washington – Rep. Elizabeth Esty has a second Republican rival as former Meriden Mayor Manny Santos declared his candidacy for the 5th District congressional seat Wednesday.

In 2013, Santos defeated former Mayor Michael Rhode to become the first Republican mayor of Meriden since 1983. Two years later, he was narrowly defeated by Mayor Kevin Scarpati.

Santos said he would make a formal announcement of his candidacy at the Danbury City Hall on Thursday. He also said his party affiliation would be a boon for the state in dealing with the GOP-controlled White House.

“I am running for the U.S. Congress because Connecticut needs representation in Washington that can work with the current administration on the issues that plague our country,” Santos said in a statement.

Esty, who was elected to represent the 5th District in 2012, is also being challenged by Republican Craig Diangelo of New Britain.

Esty’s rivals face a daunting challenge in funding their campaigns. Esty raised the most campaign cash among the state’s delegation to the U.S. House, nearly $1.3 million, in this campaign cycle.

Ana has written about politics and policy in Washington, D.C.. for Gannett, Thompson Reuters and UPI. She was a special correspondent for the Miami Herald, and a regular contributor to The New York TImes, Advertising Age and several other publications. She has also worked in broadcast journalism, for CNN and several local NPR stations. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism.

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