Although the outcome of the Connecticut primary elections normally draws a yawn, it was not surprising that both party-endorsed favorites won the nod for the soon to be retiring U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman's seat. Republican Linda McMahon bested former Congressman (R-CT 4) Christopher Shays by a wide margin just as Democrat supported Congressman (D-CT 5) Christopher Murphy blew past former CT Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz.
Primary night saw TV satellite trucks camped outside Chris Shay's senatorial campaign HQ, a typical New England white colonial house converted into offices, a flank of reporters and photogs stationed themselves in front of the microphones as Shays walked up the steps and announced he needed to make a call and would be right back. When he returned he announced that he had called Linda McMahon, congratulating Linda on her victory and that she will have his full support.
After thanking his gathered volunteers, staff and supporters he said he would now go out and help those Republicans i.e. Linda McMahon, state elected offices and that he is committed to the Romney/Ryan ticket and Shays firmly believes that Republicans can win the state come November.
In a quick Q & A with reporters, asked if he had any regrets, his response keyed in on the lack of time (he started just 10 months ago) and of course, lack of money compared to McMahon's 65 million and counting over the past three years that she has been campaigning. Shays continued, "I don't regret any comments I made," referring to his criticism of McMahon's conduct by not having any press interviews or her arm's length with the press as she has yet to meet with any editorial boards. Time will tell if she does. Interesting to note is that Shays did carry several of the towns he had represented, just not most of those other 160 towns across the state.
The 2012 primary saw a bit of a shocker in the closely watched Congressional 5th District, open when Congressman Christopher Murphy jumped into the Senate race, leaving party endorsed CT House Speaker Chris Donovan. In what should have been a given, changed dramatically with Donovan's Campaign Treasurer arrested in June, and then weeks later his former Chief of Staff.
Fraud adverse voters opened the primary to both of Donovan's Democratic opponents, Elizabeth Esty and Dan Roberti. While Esty had support from Emily's List and the endorsement of the New York Times, Roberti got the nod and support from the Big Dog himself, former President Bill Clinton. The back and forth was well reported by www.myleftnutmeg.com so even those not from the 5th could try to keep up with the jabbing and stabbing as the three Democrats duked it out while the four Republicans attempted to out conservative each other on the airwaves. In the end, Esty won for the Dems and Andrew Roraback took the slim majority for the Tea Party Republicans. Now it's time to let the mudslinging really begin.
A quick stop to the Roberti HQ after the results were in showed young and enthusiastic volunteers already planning on meeting up to continue the fight for the 5th District to keep it Democratic. Roberti had thanked his supporters and asked them to throw their support behind electing Esty to Congress and elect Chris Murphy to the U.S. Senate while his immediate plans included attending the wake and funeral of his mother who had just passed away days before the primary.
"I will do everything I can to elect Elizabeth Esty to the U.S. Congress," Mr. Roberti said. "We had a spirited debate, now it's time to come together."