Voters wait to receive their ballots at Derynoski Elementary School in Southington on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org

Voters went to the polls in Connecticut today for a Republican primary for U.S. Senate enlivened by the late interest of Donald J. Trump, while other statewide and down-ballot races have struggled for a mid-summer audience.

Polls closed at 8 p.m. The CT Mirror will report results as they become available.

Democrats had statewide primaries for secretary of the state and treasurer. In addition to U.S. Senate, Republicans chose nominees for secretary of the state and for Congress in the 4th District of Fairfield County.

It’s a quiet year for intra-party fights for nominations to the General Assembly, with only five Democratic and two Republican contests for state House nominations and one Democratic primary in the state Senate.

There also were primaries for probate judge and registrars of voters.

Polls were open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. in all 169 cities and towns.

Beth Sweeney, the Democratic Registrar of Voters in West Hartford, said turnout was relatively slow by mid-afternoon on Tuesday. One of the town’s districts didn’t have its first voter until 8 a.m., two hours after the polls opened, she said.

There are 20,117 voters registered as Democrats in West Hartford and another 5,708 Republicans registered in the town. But the preliminary numbers showed that only 11% of those eligible voters had turned up to the polls by 3 p.m. It’s unclear how many of the voters participating were from each party.

New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart reported 6.6% turnout by 3:30 p.m.

Turnouts in the 2018 midterm primaries were 31.8% for Republicans and 28.6% for Democrats, but there were competitive primaries for governor that year.

Voters can check their registration status and polling place by going to the secretary of the state’s voter look up page at https://portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx

The Republican races

The Republican candidates for U.S. Senate are Themis Klarides, Leora R. Levy and Peter Lumaj. The winner faces U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, in November.

Dominic A. Rapini and Terrie Wood are the candidates for secretary of the state. Brock Weber’s name was on the ballot, but he dropped out after failing to qualify for public financing.

In the 4th Congressional District, the party-endorsed candidate, Jayme Stevenson, was challenged by Michael Goldstein, The winner faces Congressman Jim Himes in what has become a solid Democratic district.

There were Republican primaries in two state House districts.

Republicans in the 78th District chose between Joe Hoxha, the party-endorsed candidate, and Aileen Abrams, both of Bristol. It is an open seat, due to the retirement of Rep. Whit Betts, R-Bristol.

The only Republican incumbent in a primary is Rep. Cindy Harrison of Southbury, a first-term lawmaker who lost the party endorsement in the 69th District to Jason Buchsbaum, a Southbury selectman.

Rep. Rosa C. Rebimbas, R-Naugatuck, the party-endorsed candidate for probate judge in the 21st Probate District, faced a primary from the incumbent, Peter E. Marianio, who was briefly jailed this year after convictions arising from three arrests for driving under the influence.

Republicans in every town will have these choices. There are also two legislative primaries and fights for probate judge nominations.

The Democratic primaries

The Democratic candidates for treasurer are Erick Russell, Dita Bhargava and Karen Dubois-Walton. The Democratic incumbent, Shawn Wooden, did not seek reelection.

Stephanie Thomas and Maritza Bond are the candidates for secretary of the state. Denise Merrill, who had announced she would not seek another term, resigned recently due to family health concerns.

Two of the five Democratic state legislative primaries were in Bridgeport, where winning a Democratic nomination usually is tantamount to election. 

Democrats declined to endorse Sen. Dennis Bradley, who faces trial on federal conspiracy and wire fraud charges related to fundraising for election to his first term in 2018. The endorsed candidate is Herron Gaston, a clergyman and Yale admissions officer.

Marcus Brown, a city council leader, was endorsed in the 127th District over the nine-term incumbent, Rep. Jack Hennessy. 

Rep. Treneé McGee, D-West Haven, is challenged in the 116th District by Joseph Miller.

Two of the Democratic primaries are for open seats.

In the 98th District, the candidates are Moira Rader and Andy Gottlieb, both of Guilford, for the seat opened by Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, who is running for comptroller. 

In the 16th District, the candidates are Eric Wellman and Melissa E. Osbourne, both of Simsbury, for the seat opened by the retirement of Rep. John Hampton, D-Simsbury.

Two Democrats also are fighting to run an underdog race against Rep. Irene Haines, R-East Haddam, in the 34th District, a safe Republican seat. The Democrats are Kurt Comisky of East Hampton and John Olin of East Haddam.

Mary Deneen, the endorsed candidate for probate judge in the 4th Probate District of Greater Windsor, is challenged by Keith Yagaloff.

Democrats in every community will have these choices. In some, there are other races, too.
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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.