party conventions

Connecticut Republicans, Democrats Launch Party Conventions

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NBC Connecticut

Connecticut’s Republican and Democratic party faithful were gathering Friday evening for the first day of their respective two-day conventions, where they’ll endorse candidates for U.S. Senate, governor and five other constitutional officers.

Democrats control all those offices now, in addition to the five U.S. House of Representatives seats. But Ben Proto, the chairperson of the state’s GOP, sees a “generational opportunity” in this year’s election, especially given voter frustration over rising inflation, high gas prices and past mask mandates in schools.

“At the end of the day, Connecticut has become unaffordable under the Democrats and they’ve had control of the state for roughly 40 years, on and off,” said Proto. “And we believe we have a better vision for tomorrow, that we have a better way to move Connecticut forward and to make Connecticut a much better place to live, work and raise your family.”

But state Democrats appear optimistic about their chances in November, especially after closing out a three-month legislative session marked by a new, revised one-year state budget that cuts taxes by $600 million and invests in social programs, child care services, and a wide-ranging mental health initiatives.

“Democratic leadership continues to deliver balanced, on-time budgets that invest in our kids, support our most vulnerable and reflect Connecticut values,” Democratic State Party Chairperson Nancy DiNardo said in a statement.

Republicans were gathering at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Friday night, where they were expected to endorse Madison businessman Bob Stefanowski for governor. He was the party’s 2018 candidate, but lost to Democrat Ned Lamont in a three-way race.

The GOP also planned to endorse candidates for state attorney general, treasurer and lieutenant governor on Friday. Candidates for U.S. Senate, comptroller and secretary of the state will be endorsed Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Democrats were meeting in Hartford at the Xfinity Theater where U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal is expected to be endorsed for a third term Friday night. On Saturday, candidates for attorney general, comptroller, lieutenant governor, governor, treasurer and secretary of state will be endorsed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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