Rally to launch Democratic campaigns draws 100

At an enthusiastic rally of about 100 at Wilton’s Comstock Community Center on July 28 Democratic and Independent volunteers were reminded that this fall’s election is the only effective way to fight back against two years of frustration and disappointment in Washington and Hartford.  

The Democratic campaign kick-off was led by U.S. Congressman Jim Himes; gubernatorial hopeful Ned Lamont; state senate candidate Will Haskell; Ross Tartell, running for state representative in the 125th district; Stephanie Thomas, candidate for the 143rd district state house seat; Susan Bysiewicz, running for lieutenant governor, and attorney general candidate William Tong.

In what he called “the largest pre-election turnout of volunteers” he’d seen in the area,  Himes said the rally was a measure of the depth of voter concern over Trump administration policies.

“The White House is attacking the institutions that are the cornerstone of our democracy, they are denied and sullied by the President of the United States,” he said, adding “The Trump wave has come to Connecticut. At the Republican Gubernatorial forum last week, when asked how they thought Trump was doing, every single candidate gave Trump Grade A.”

“Apathy seems to be winning more elections than Democrats or Republicans,” said Thomas, a first-time candidate and small-business owner who is running to represent  the 143rd district against incumbent Gail Lavielle. “Today’s volunteer turnout is a positive sign that our community wants to turn that trend around and ensure that their representation is reflective of their values.”

“If there's ever a year to bring change to Hartford, I know this is the year,” said Haskell, who is running against incumbent Toni Boucher in the 26th district. “There is an exceptional energy in the air, in Wilton, in Westport, in Redding, in Ridgefield — we are going to let Hartford know that the same old talking points won't work anymore.”  

Said Ross Tartell, a management consultant new to election politics who is running against incumbent Tom O’Dea in the 125th district, “Two years ago most of you, including me, wouldn’t have been in this room, but we’ve all decided to step up to change the trajectory of people’s lives.”

Lamont, who vowed “to make tough decisions but not on the backs of working people,” reminded volunteers to work as hard for the primary election as they do for the midterm election in November. Following the remarks, many of those attending joined the candidates for door-to-door canvassing in Wilton and signed up for future phone banks.

The Wilton Democratic Town Committee, which hosted the joint rally, previously endorsed Lamont for governor.

Information: wiltondems.org