GOP challenges to the five members of the state’s all-Democratic delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives are among the most closely watched races Tuesday in Connecticut, which has not sent a Republican to Congress in over a decade.
Also on the ballot Election Day is the race for president, all 151 seats in the General Assembly and some local registrar of voters races and ballot questions.
Incumbent Democrats are seeking reelection in all five U.S. House districts, but the races receiving the most attention are those of Rep. Jahana Hayes, who is seeking a second term, and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, whose campaign ran television ads defending her record for the first time in about two decades as she seeks a 16th term.
Republican David X. Sullivan, a former federal prosecutor, has cast himself as a law-and-order candidate as he challenges Hayes, a former national teacher of the year who became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Connecticut in 2018. Hayes overcame a bout with coronavirus during the campaign. She said she has tried to represent the diverse interests of the western Connecticut district during her first term in Washington.
DeLauro has won reelection by large margins during her congressional career and is facing an aggressive challenge from Republican Margaret Streicker, a real estate executive from Milford. Streicker has raised more than $1.6 million, $1 million coming from her own pockets. She’s been running ads pitching herself as a problem-solver and going after DeLauro’s record. If DeLauro wins another term, this year she is seeking to become leader of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, a position chosen by her fellow House members.
Elsewhere, U.S. Rep. John Larson faces West Hartford Town Council member Mary Fay, a Republican, in his bid for a 12th term.
U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney is seeking an 8th term in a contest with Republican Justin Anderson, and first-time candidate Jonathan Riddle, a Republican, stands in the way of a seventh term sought by U.S. Rep. Jim Himes.
PHOTOS: Scenes From Polling Places Around Connecticut On Election Day 2020
Democrats have a firm grip on the majority in both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly, 22-14 in the Senate and 91-60 in the House of Representatives. Senate membership had been split evenly between Democrats and Republicans after the 2016 elections, but Democrats rebounded in the 2018 midterm elections.
One common theme of campaigns among Republican candidates looking to close that gap has been criticism of the police accountability legislation that passed in late July along mostly party lines. Republicans have argued that measures including the removal of immunity protections for officers in some situations went too far, and they believe many voters will agree.
Democrat Joe Biden is expected to win the presidential contest in Connecticut, where Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in 2016 by a margin of 54.6% to 41%.
Records show both candidates raised a lot of money in campaign contributions from Connecticut donors. But Biden had the edge as of Oct. 14, amassing $7.4 million in individual contributions compared to nearly $3 million for Trump, a former Connecticut resident who once owned a mansion in Greenwich with his ex-wife Ivana.
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