Primary Day Edition


The Results Are In!

The morning after Connecticut’s Primary Day, the votes are in for a handful of seats for US Senate, US House, State Treasurer, Secretary of the State, and the General Assembly. As Mark Pazniokas summed up in yesterday's CT Mirror piece about seats in the legislature, there were only five Democratic and two Republican primaries for CT House nominations, and one Democratic primary for CT Senate. We think these were some of the most interesting outcomes for education wonks:

  • The Democratic Primary in the 23rd Senate District (Bridgeport and Stratford): The party endorsed Herron Gaston over incumbent Dennis Bradley, who is facing criminal charges related to allegations of illegal fundraising. Bradley initially declared victory last night, but then conceded just after 11pm. Gaston, an assistant chief administrative officer for Mayor Joe Ganim, will be up against Republican Mike Garrett in November and is heavily favored to win.

  • Democratic Primary in 116th House District (New Haven and West Haven): Incumbent Rep. Treneé McGee, a vocal opponent of abortion, currently sits on both the Education and Higher Education Committees of the General Assembly. Endorsed by the party, she emerged victorious against primary opponent Joseph Miller. She will face Republican Aaron Haley in the general election.

  • Democratic Primary in the 127th House District (Bridgeport): Incumbent Rep. Jack Hennessy was formerly stripped of his deputy speaker role and his seat on the Public Health Committee by House Speaker Matt Ritter. (The rift was due to Hennessy's skepticism over the vaccine mandate that our affiliate, ERN CT, helped to advance and see passed by the legislature.) The Democratic Party has endorsed challenger Marcus Brown, a candidate who has called for higher levels of state support for Bridgeport's education and infrastructure systems. At the end of the evening, Brown was ahead by four votes, a margin that triggers an automatic recount that will take place shortly.

  • Democratic Primary in House District 34 (Colchester, East Haddam, East Hampton): This is an underdog race in a district that is expected to run Republican during the general election. But John Olin won the Democratic primary against Kurt Comisky, giving him the opportunity in the general to challenge Rep. Irene Haines–who currently sits on both the Education and Higher Education Committees of the General Assembly.

Other legislative races included:

  • The Democratic Primary in House District 16 (Simsbury): Melissa Osborne defeated endorsed candidate Eric Wellman for the seat left open following the retirement of Rep. John Hampton. She will face Republican Mike Paine in November.

  • The Republican Primary in House District 69 (Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury, and Washington): Incumbent Cindy Harrison faces challenger Jason Buchsbaum. This race is still neck-and-neck, but the winner will secure the seat, since no Democrats filed to run in District 69.

  • The Republican Primary in House District 78 (Bristol, Plymouth, and Terryville): Joe Hoxha won out against primary opponent Aileen Abrams. The seat is open following the retirement of Rep. Whit Betts, and there’s no candidate on the Democratic line.

  • The Democratic Primary in House District 98 (Branford and Guilford): This seat is open because Rep. Sean Scanlon—current Co-Chair of the Legislature's Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee—is running for state comptroller. Andrew Gottlieb has succumbed to Moira Rader in the primary, which means she will face Republican Gloria Nemczuk in the general.

There were also important races in the Republican primaries for US Senate and US House. The former made national headlines because Donald Trump endorsed Republican candidate Leora Levy–a GOP fundraiser, former commodities trader, and first-time candidate. She proceeded to win her three-way Republican primary against endorsed candidate and former State House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, as well as Peter Lumaj. Klarides’ loss is quite a blow to the moderate wing of the Connecticut Republican Party. Levy will face off against Senator Richard Blumenthal (D), a fierce Trump opponent, in the general election. In the 4th Congressional District, Republican-endorsed Jayme Stevenson emerged victorious over Michael Goldstein. In the November general election, she will now face Democratic incumbent Congressman Jim Himes.

Republican Dominic Rapini bested Terrie Wood, and Democrat Stephanie Thomas defeated Maritza Bond in the Secretary of the State contests. Both primary winners were endorsed by their respective parties. The seat is open because Secretary of State Denise Merrill retired in June to care for her ailing husband.

State Treasurer Shawn Wooden is also vacating his role, leading to a three-way Democratic primary that was won by Attorney Erick Russell, the endorsed candidate. He beat out Dita Bhargava and Karen DuBois-Walton and will face off against Rep. Harry Arora (R) in November. CT Insider has more on the results here!

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