Wilton goes for Stemerman, Lamont in primaries for governor
Although Wilton’s Republican voters chose gubernatorial candidate David Stemerman by a narrow margin in Tuesday’s primary, it was their third choice, Bob Stefanowski, who handily won his party’s nomination.
He will face Democrat Ned Lamont, the party-endorsed candidate, who won in a landslide over petitioning candidate, Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim. Lamont was also endorsed by the Wilton Democratic Town Committee (DTC).
Republican party-endorsed candidate Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, also endorsed by the Wilton Republican Town Committee (RTC), came in second. He proved popular in Fairfield and Litchfield counties, but Stefanowski led the rest of the state.
As of 7:30 Wednesday morning, Stefanowski, a Madison businessman, had 29.3% of the vote, Boughton was second with 21%, Stemerman third with 18.4%, Herbst fourth with 17.6%, and Obsitnik fifth with 13.5%. Five towns still had to report GOP results Wednesday morning.
Unofficially, the secretary of the state’s office reported Republican turnout at 32.59%, Democratic turnout slightly over 30%.
Turnout was considerably lower in Wilton with 1,054 Democrats casting ballots to 955 Republicans for a total of 2,009, a bit over the paltry turnout for the budget vote in May that totaled 1,614 or 13% of the electorate at the time.
Lamont recently visited Wilton where he told an enthusiastic crowd of about 100 at a DTC rally he would “make tough decisions but not on the backs of working people.”
Tuesday night he predicted victory in November, saying he and Democrats would “turn the state around.”
“You guys more than anybody know that elections matter,” Lamont said. “We found that out the hard way 18 months ago and his name is Donald Trump.”
In a victory speech delivered before the Republican result was known, Lamont said, “These are not George and Barbara Bush Connecticut Republicans we’re running against, it’s a new breed of Trump Republican and we are not going to let them take over our state.”
When Stefanowski visited Wilton for the opening of the RTC campaign headquarters on July 30, the former chief financial officer of UBS Investment Bank, said “we need to start running this state like a business. If you look at what Donald Trump has done for this economy in a relatively short period of time it’s a great illustration of what somebody who has common sense, who has run large organizations, who knows how to negotiate, who knows how to recut all those lousy deals that prior administrations have done … we could use some of those skill sets here in Connecticut. He is also in favor of “resizing government” and phasing out the state income tax.
In his victory speech, Stefanowski expanded on that saying, “I have a plan and focus — a message that puts Connecticut’s working families first — not the special interests in Hartford. A plan that will reduce your taxes — with a focus on putting more people back to work. A plan to eliminate the state income tax over eight years! A plan that will reduce the waste in Hartford — re-prioritize how government is run — and yes, bring some common-sense business practices into the public sector. A plan to take power away from career politicians and give it back to the people.
“For the first time in decades, Connecticut will actually have a real CEO — whose primary focus will be putting people back to work — and creating a competitive environment where working families can afford to stay here, and our parents and grandparents can afford to retire here.”
Down ballot races
In other races, Susan Bysiewicz handily won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor over challenger Eva Bermudez Zimmerman with 62% of the vote.
In the Republican race for lieutenant governor, Joe Markley beat New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, with Darien First Selectman Jayme Stevenson third.
Stamford legislator William Tong won a three-way Democratic primary for the attorney general nomination with 57% of the vote as of Wednesday morning, well ahead of former federal prosecutor Chris Mattei and Paul R. Doyle.
The Republican nomination went to Sue Hatfield, the endorsed candidate, with nearly 80% of the vote. Her challenger, former state Rep. John Shaban, who unsuccessfully ran against U.S. Rep Jim Himes (D-4) two years ago, did not carry his hometown of Redding and finished with about 20% of the vote.
Republican Matthew Corey will challenge Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Christopher Murphy in November after beating Dominic Rapini, 77% to 23%.
Endorsed Republican candidate for treasurer Thad Gray turned back challenger Art Linares, 55.9% to 44.1%. On the Democratic side, Shawn Wooden had more than 56% of the vote, compared to 44.4% for Dita Bhargava.
Kurt Miller turned back the challenge of Mark Greenberg for the Republican nomination for comptroller, the endorsed Miller winning 52.6% to 47.4%. He will face incumbent Democrat Kevin Lembo.
In the Democratic primary for judge of the Norwalk Wilton Probate Court, Doug Stern defeated Darnell Crosland, who ran unsuccessfully against Judge Anthony DePanfilis four years ago. Stern, an attorney and Norwalk Councilman, will face Republican Lawrence F. Cafero Jr., also an attorney, and former state House Republican leader who was not opposed on Tuesday.
(This story was updated as more results came in Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.)
Ned Lamont 980
Joe Ganim 74
Mark Boughton 229
Timothy M. Herbst 108
Steve Obsitnik 153
Bob Stefanowski 225
David Stemerman 240
Susan Bysiewicz 752
Eva Bermudez Zimmerman 274
Joe Markley 427
Jayme Stevenson 283
Erin E. Stewart 187
Matthew Corey 648
Dominic Rapini 207
Shawn Wooden 538
Dita Bhargava 455
Thad Gray 611
Art Linares 252
Kurt Miller 548
Mark Greenberg 317
William Tong 734
Paul R. Doyle 74
Chris Mattei 200
Sue Hatfield 665
John Shaban 210
Judge of Probate
Doug Stern 789
Darnell D. Corsland 183