Locked in a delegate battle with former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz for the Democratic Party endorsement for U.S. Senate, Congressman Chris Murphy made his way tonight to Testo’s Restaurant, the epicenter of city politics owned by Democratic Town Chair Mario Testa, for a meet and greet with city Dems. Murphy and Bysiewicz are putting on the final push with the state party convention less than two weeks away.
Pols say Murphy should be in good shape for the party endorsement, but that will not stop SuBy from making her case to state Dems for the August 14 primary. SuBy, a relentless campaigner, has earned her political stripes waging primaries against party-endorsed candidates. Murphy and SuBy will have plenty of loot to unload whether on their behalf or to dump against their opponents. Public polling thus far shows SuBy within striking distance of Murphy. She won’t be bashful about poking Murphy’s congressional voting record, nor will Murphy back down from return fire if the Murphy camp sees polls tightening.
Testa, who historically likes to vote in a delegate bloc to increase city leverage, has set his peeps free to support as they please. The party is split with a number of pols still deciding support for the U.S. Senate candidates. Vice Party Chair Dottie Guman and Black Rock District Leader Danny Roach are among pols supporting SuBy. Mayor Bill Finch and former Town Chair John Stafstrom are in Murphy’s corner.
State Rep. William Tong, growing stature within the party, has been unable to resonate among public polling. He’ll need something dramatic to happen if he’s going to become a viable alternative for U.S. Senate.
Murphy and SuBy will have company on the primary ballot in August. Former State Senator Ernie Newton and State Rep. Andres Ayala are on the prowl against Ed Gomes, incumbent of Connecticut’s 23rd State Senate District. Newton occupied the seat prior to Gomes. Newton and Ayala appear well on their way to qualifying for Connecticut’s public financing program. Gomes, however, has not yet formed a campaign committee and he’s only just recently begun to reach out to district delegates for the endorsement session just three weeks away. Gomes’ district covers about 75 percent of the city and a portion of Stratford.