Hammer Time Versus Moore Time Race To Watch For State Senate

Elaine Hammers
Elaine Hammers. CT Mirror photo.

Republicans must pick up four seats to gain a majority in the State Senate and one of the targeted races to watch is the contest between GOP nominee Elaine Hammers and Democrat Marilyn Moore who emerged last week from a blowout win against primary opponent Tom McCarthy in Connecticut’s 22nd city-suburban swing district.

Hammers is no stranger to politics and government. She served a term in the State House and challenged Bill Finch for the Senate seat in his first reelection in the district in 2002. She has served as Finance Director for the town of Trumbull where she currently serves as chair of the Board of Finance that cut taxes in town for the budget year that began July 1. She knows fiscal policy and isn’t shy about mixing it up on the campaign trail.

Two years ago, after defeating party-endorsed incumbent Anthony Musto in an August primary, Moore won the seat in a close contest running up large pluralities in Bridgeport to offset Republican Rick Costantini’s suburban wins. The district covers about one-third of Bridgeport, all of Trumbull and a piece of Monroe.

Moore won Bridgeport 6,566 to 2501, Costantini took Trumbull 7,720 to 4819, and Monroe 1,324 to 852.

Moore, McCarthy
Moore defeated McCarthy in party primary.

Straight-up Democrat to Republican, Moore won the district 12,237 to 11,545, a close race. But Moore banked another 1,202 votes running on the Working Families Party line, which she will occupy again in November. One difference this time around is Hammers appearance on the Independent Party line that Costantini did not enjoy.

For a small percentage of voters, a major party label is anathema to their electoral tastes and minor party candidates benefit from that participation. The WFP line has bolstered many candidates throughout the years. For instance in 2010 Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley received more votes party to party than Democrat Dan Malloy, but the extra WFP votes propelled Malloy to victory.

In many state races the Independent Party line that generally has been occupied by Republicans has offset the WFP line on behalf of Democrats.

Presidential politics will also come into play in this race as turnout will swell from the gubernatorial cycle two years ago. Republican presidential candidates historically perform well in Trumbull and Monroe that lift up the underticket. Republican political operatives in Trumbull are concerned about Donald Trump’s free-fall in recent polls and what that could mean to the underticket. So that requires the Hammers campaign to place a premium on running a personalized campaign that connects with voters. The ballot line is President, US Senate, U.S. Representative, State Senate and so on.

Moore and Hammers will have equal money to spend–about $110,000–having qualified for Connecticut’s Citizens Election Program of publicly funded races. They both raised $15,000 in small donations to receive a $95,000 grant. But as a swing district both campaigns are likely to benefit from independent expenditures.



    1. We’re talking about the 22nd Senate District, right?
      Longest list in the world: Things Marilyn Moore wants.
      Shortest list in the world: Things Marilyn Moore has done.

  1. I think Lennie is trying to keep bloggers interested in this race.
    Two years ago Moore won on a ticket headed up by Dannel Malloy. Not a plus.
    Two years ago Moore won as a newcomer and not an incumbent. Not a plus.
    This time around Moore benefits from a presidential boost with the turnout in Bridgeport significantly higher. Major plus.
    This time around Moore benefits from the Tom Foolery primary by getting her name out early thanks to the Citizen Election Fund. Big plus.
    Moore pretty much broke even in the suburbs in the primary showing her improved standing with the voters. Big plus.
    Moore showed she had the winning formula in the primary and just needs to tweak that a bit for the general. With the same operation and organization, she has a winning formula and a winning team in place.
    Plus The Donald is sure to make outrageous statements further eroding his support with Northeast Republicans and Independents.
    I am not saying she wins without any effort but she is the big favorite coming out of the blocks.

    1. What is he talking about?
      Two years ago, Marilyn Moore ran on a ticket headed by Dan Malloy, who won the election. Nice!
      Two years ago, there was NO incumbent to the seat Moore won. Perfect!!!
      When Bob Walsh thinks he knows more about Bridgeport politics than I do, he should use these pages to display his superiority.

      1. Local Eyes,
        Lennie is always looking for “news” for his readers. If the reporting veers from the factual to the fanciful or foolish, who can complain? Remember, it’s ONLY IN BRIDGEPORT!!!

        However your challenge to Bob Walsh about who “knows more about Bridgeport politics” is nothing less than a challenge from feudal times. You have thrown down the gauntlet and it is up to Walsh to respond. Where will you debate your superiority? And when? A breathless (or thirsty) public awaits the answer from your HQ and the naming of seconds. In these hot and humid days of summer, perhaps a local publican might invite you to a location where Local vs. Troll plays out. Everyone maintains hydration, we save an entertainment location from slipping into history, and we see who is truly superior in this vein. No hammers admitted to protect the safety of the attendees. Time will tell.

        1. Marilyn Moore thinks the Senate seat belongs Only in Bridgeport. That’s why we have elections.
          As far as the feudalistic reference goes, I’m the White Knight and Bob Walsh is the dragon. Slaying dragons and trolls is all in a day’s work.
          Has he not looked to the horizon and seen the approaching campaign of Elaine Hammers and the challenges it brings?

          1. Local Eyes,
            Troll may not have seen your challenge but wearing aluminum foil does not make you the White Knight. When he does look to the horizon he will doubtless see your challenge and wish to respond. (Since you did not indicate “bring it on,” you would not by any chance be letting us know you have a conflict with an NFL football game, or other ‘trumped’-up excuses?) Time will tell.

          2. Senator Moore never said that nor did she in any way perform in a way that excluded Trumbull or Monroe from her sworn oath. Those of us who worked to reelect her will do the same in November, Marilyn will be the Senator for Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe.

  2. Last night I attended the monthly meeting of the Trumbull Democratic Town Committee. The TDTC is committed to support Senator Moore in the general election and more importantly defeat Hammers. We know Hammers’ politics and recent history as a member of the Rubber Stamp Herbst Super Majority in town government.
    This is not a municipal election, but the members of the town committee will endeavor to make sure the D22 Senate seat remains in Democrat hands.
    As I personally posted during the campaign, I’ll work hard to support the winner, the battle cry in Trumbull is “anyone but Hammers.”
    And contrary to the false allegation posted by Tim Herbst on this forum, there are Trumbull Democrats who wished Senator Moore congratulations on her victory. I have the written reply from her to prove it. Herbst never misses an opportunity to attack Trumbull Democrats, even if it means he is not telling the truth.

      1. No Ron, not in the near future.
        September 25, 45 days before the election date, is the earliest LEGAL day to have a lawn sign for the November 8th election in the Town of Trumbull.
        All Senator Moore’s currently placed signs in Trumbull violate our rules. Never mind the fact both campaigns in the primary illegally placed signs on public property in Trumbull. We Trumbull Democrats have had to bear the brunt of the TRTC complaints about this explaining it is a state race and not our signs. It would behoove the Moore campaign (and remnants of the McCarthy campaign) to drive through Trumbull and remove all the non-compliant signs.
        But I will be happy to place Senator Moore’s signs on both our Trumbull properties on the first legal day, along with the rest of the D candidates.

          1. Democrats for Hammers will be meeting tonight in Local Eyes’ closet. There should be plenty of room, but please bring your own chair and snacks.

    1. Despite your real name being revealed, I still don’t know who you are. If I don’t know you as a political figure in Bridgeport, you’ve been living under a rock for the past 36 years. I mean no unkindness to you whomever you are, but Bob Walsh doesn’t have a mediocre bone in his body. I can go on and on about his personal and political merits, but if you haven’t witnessed them by now, you never will!

      1. Lisa, a big part of politics is dealing with people you do not know. I’m a self-styled expert on Bridgeport politics and I own local assets to prove it. For example, I’m the sole owner of the Bridgeport Bird Cam. I’m not here by accident. When it comes to Bob Walsh, we have different ways of looking at the same world.

        1. I understand. I was referring to Bridgeport politics as it pertains to elected office, political activities, etc., but you’re right, I’m sure there are many people involved in other capacities I know nothing about.

  3. JML, I was challenging the Troll to a blogospheric duel and not a duel-to-the-death a la Aaron Burr.
    This knight wields a lance. Foil is for school lunches.

  4. And I was promoting a “Meeting of the Mouths–ala OIB Style,” as in the Thrilla from Manila, years ago.
    Can you see it now? CHEERS bar as background and Walsh calls for his favorite from Lennie, the bartender, only to see the only seat left at the bar is next to Paul, from Trumbull, reviewing his bird cam pictures of the day. And so it goes, with the assembled seeing who makes the initial move, makes an opening barbed statement or hits the restroom first. Joy in Mudville? Time will tell.

  5. Honestly, I don’t think there should be ANY ALIASES. If you don’t have the courage to show your real name, then stay out of the public arena. I think Mr. Lennie Grimaldi should review this policy.

  6. An excellent analysis by Lennie, but he left out one important thing. Two years ago Marilyn Moore got 40% of the Trumbull vote between the Democratic line and the WF line, and hometown Tim Herbst was on the top of the Republican ticket. No Tim Herbst on the ballot this year. With increased turnout due to the Presidential race in Bridgeport, and with Trump unlikely to do much to help the down ballot in Trumbull, this race will not be close, IMO. Good luck to State Senator Moore. As Marshall says above, congratulations did go out to her the very night of her win in the primary, and I am quite confident she will win again in November.

    1. TKelly displays a bias borne of partisan politics. “Quite confident” sounds so wishy-washy and unsure. The wise man reminds us it’s better to consider possibilities than make predictions.

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