New Britain

Vice President Harris Visits New Britain Amid Heated 5th District Congressional Race

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Vice President Kamala Harris is in Connecticut and took part in a conversation about reproductive care at Central Connecticut State University.

Political experts believe the visit is also meant to drum up support for U.S. Representative Jahana Hayes, a Democrat, as the Congressional race for the Fifth District seat appears more heated. One forecast from Politico calls it a toss-up.

The conversation Harris stopped in New Britain for was about actions the Biden administration is taking to defend access to reproductive care. She was hosted by Hayes.

“When I think about where we are now, as we discussed with some of the leaders who are here in the room, I do believe that we all know that there was a movement on this issue that started generations ago and a milestone in the success of that movement was Roe v. Wade, which was about half a century ago, and it is now incumbent on us as the leaders of this moment to pick up that movement and to do what is necessary to reaffirm, regain and fight for those rights,” Harris said. “And so that’s where we are.”

“We're seeing the vice president come into the district to shore up Jahana Hayes’ campaign. In the Fifth District, the vice president, although she is not especially more popular than the president, she has some star power and she can generate some interest among the Democratic base, which has to turn out in the Fifth if Jahana Hayes is going to hold on to this seat,” said Scott McLean, Quinnipiac University political science professor.

Hayes’ Republican challenger, George Logan, took part in a roundtable talk about crime and safety in New Britain on Tuesday.

He was joined by U.S. Representative Bryan Steil, a Republican from Wisconsin.

“They are desperate, right? Because we are surging in the polls. We are surging more importantly in the community and we have the better message,” Logan said.

Logan said besides crime, he’s focused on other issues including inflation and defends his stance on abortion and supports a women’s right to choose with some conditions.

“I will say you don’t go into this work without recognizing that you have to work for it every single time and that’s what I do. I appreciate it. We energize voters, turn out voters. And I expect the same thing to happen this time,” Hayes said.

McLean said Hayes can’t just rely on incumbency this early in her career and she faces some tough headwinds for Democrats nationally and here in what can be a very competitive Fifth District.

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