Primaries will determine candidates for governor, senator, state offices
Political animals, both Republicans and Democrats, are clawing through contests to determine party candidates for governor and a variety of statewide offices. Party members will be able to have their say by making choices in mid-August primaries.
Voting will be Tuesday, Aug. 14, from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., with simultaneous primaries in the two major parties. Only a party member may vote in its primary.
Unaffiliated voters may join a party up to noon Monday, Aug. 13, and vote in the primary. Unaffiliated voters may register with a party at town hall, or online through the Connecticut Secretary of the State’s website: ct.gov/sots.
The deadline passed in May for voters already registered with a party to switch to another party and participate in the August primary. A voter who has switched must have been a party member for three months in order to take part in that party’s primary voting.
Party members who won’t be in town Aug. 14 can vote in the primaries by absentee ballot.
Lots of contests
The Republicans have more candidates contesting their nomination for governor — four compared to the Democrats’ two — and also have primaries for more offices on the ballot.
Both parties have primary contests for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, and attorney general.
The Republicans have additional contests for U.S. Senator and controller.
There’s a five-way race for the Republican nomination for governor. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who won the party endorsement the convention in the spring, faces four challengers: Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst; Steve Obsitnik, a Westport businessman and Navy submarine veteran who was the Republican candidate for Congress in 2012, losing to Democrat Jim Himes; Bob Stefanowski of Madison, the former chief financial officer of UBS Investment Bank; and David Stemerman of Greenwich, founder of the investment firm Conatus Capital.
In the battle for the Democratic nomination for governor the party-endorsed candidate is Ned Lamont, a former Greenwich selectman who wreasted the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from then incumbent Joe Lieberman in 2006 but lost to Lieberman’s independent candidacy in the general election.
Lamont is being challenged by Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.
The Republican primary for U.S. Senator pits party-endorsed Matthew Corey, a Manchester businessman and Navy veteran, against Branford businessman Dominic Rapini. The winner will face Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Christopher Murphy.
For lieutenant governor the Democrats’ endorsed candidate, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, is facing Eva Bermudez Zimmerman, a Democratic labor organizer from Newtown.
The contest for the Republican lieutenant governor nomination has state Sen. Joe Markley of Cheshire, the party-endorsed candidate, facing two challengers: New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Darien First Selectwoman Jayme Stevenson.
Attorney general battles
Incumbent Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen isn’t seeking re-election, and the Democrats have a three-way race for the nomination to succeed him. The party-endorsed candidate is William Tong, a six-term state representative from Stamford. In the primary he faces two challengers: state Sen. Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, who has represented a district of five Hartford suburbs in the state senate since 2007; and Chris Mattei, a Hartford attorney and former federal prosecutor whose resume includes working to get ex-governor John Rowland convicted of financial misdeeds.
In the Republican primary for attorney general, the party-endorsed candidate is Sue Hatfield of Pomfret, a former nurse and an attorney who is prosecutor with the Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice. She faces John Shaban, who represented his hometown of Redding along with Easton and Weston in the a State House of Representatives from 2011 to 2017, when he ran for Congress but lost to Democrat Jim HImes.
For treasurer, with incumbent Denise Nappier not running, Democrats will choose between party-endorsed Shawn Wooden, former Hartford City Council president, and Dita Bhargava of Greenwich, a former Wall Street investment manager.
Seeking the Republican nomination for treasurer are party-endorsed candidate Thad Gray of Salisbury, who is retired from a New York investment firm, and Art Linares, a three-term state senator from Westbrook.
The Republicans also have a contest for controller, with Seymour First Selectman Kurt Miller, the party-backed candidates, facing Mark Greenberg of Litchfield, the founder of a mobile telecommunications firm and also New York real estate management company, who was the GOP candidate for Congress from the Fifth Connecticut District in 2014.