She had planned to challenge Gov. Ned Lamont, but Republican Themis Klarides decided she didn’t want Senator Richard Blumenthal to get a free ride.
“I want to make it more affordable to live in our state and in this country. I want to make this country safer. I want to make sure we have the respect of other countries,” Klarides said.
Klarides said that’s why she’s challenging democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal.
“People who think Washington is dysfunctional, we have lost our voice and the rancor and arguing and partisanship has to stop. Those people should consider voting for me,” Klarides said.
“Senator Blumenthal follows President Biden almost lock step with everything he does. He makes everything partisan," she continued.
Blumenthal refused to respond to her comments directly.
“My focus is on doing my job, working for the people of Connecticut. They'll be plenty of time for politics later in the year," he said.
Her decision means Bob Stefanowski will likely become the Republican nominee for governor.
“She knew that if, in fact, it did go to a primary that she would lose so I think she marshaled her resources, cut her losses and decided that she would take on an incumbent senator,” Sacred Heart Political Science Professor Gary Rose said.
Rose said Klarides made a political calculation.
“I’m sure that she came to the conclusion that there was no way she was going to unseat Bob Stefanowski as the frontrunner in the Republican party,” Rose said.
Rose said she will have an uphill battle against Blumenthal, but it’s not a lost cause.
“If you focus on the larger national issues, she could clearly tie Senator Blumenthal to those issues,” Rose said.
Rose said tying Blumenthal to Biden could be a winning strategy for Klarides.
“President Biden does not have real high approval ratings anywhere,” Rose said.
Klarides said she offers an alternative to the status quo.
“I believe I represent Connecticut's brand of Republicanism which stands for cutting taxes, limiting spending, keeping people safe, supporting law enforcement,” she said.