On the Trail: Spending the Surplus, Voting Rights and a First Lady’s Visit 

Republican-party endorsed candidate for Secretary of the State Dominic Rapini


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Differing views on how to spend billions in surplus revenue emerge from the Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor, while their running mates get in on the campaign action and the contenders for Secretary of the State tussle over voting issues. 

“I don’t know why he’s not doing it – it makes absolutely no sense to me. If I were governor I’d be giving people relief right now when they need it.” 

— Republican candidate for Governor Bob Stefanowski’s statement in a television interview on Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s decision to use the state’s $3.5 billion dollar Rainy Day Fund to pay down long-term debt instead of mitigating inflation for residents.

“The Rainy Day Fund is there in the face of recession to make darn sure I don’t have to raise anybody’s taxes or slash spending. I think this is a buffer, it’s a cushion, it’s the smart thing to do for the people.” 

— Lamont’s statement on the matter in a radio interview. 

Stephanie Thomas, the Democratic party-endorsed candidate for Secretary of the State

“If you’re in a nursing home, chances are you may need supervision. And quite frankly, this opens the door for those who want to take advantage of the system and are looking for ways to cheat. I’m talking about unscrupulous people that may work in the home and have an opportunity to say who to vote for.”

— Republican party-endorsed candidate for Secretary of the State Dominic Rapini on the recent suspension of supervised absentee balloting in nursing homes and long-term care facilities by voting officials for the Aug. 9 primaries due to COVID concerns. 

“My mom never had a driver’s license. Working two jobs, she couldn’t just take hours off to get to the DMV. So when Republicans make it harder to vote, it’s folks like my mom they are targeting.” 

— Portion of a new television ad by Stephanie Thomas, endorsed by the Democratic Party to run for Secretary of the State.

“I spoke yesterday with students & families from Uvalde. Strong brave voices for their young classmates & teachers tragically killed & others traumatized by gun violence. Recent Congressional action must be a prelude to more—preventing such needless bloodshed & loss.”

— Social media post by incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.

“I happen to think 12 years in the Senate is plenty, and Dick Blumenthal is teaching us every day just how out of touch those two terms can make you. Time for new ideas!!”

— Expected Blumenthal challenger Republican Themis Klarides’ social media post supporting a petition drive by the Connecticut Term Limits.

“I look forward to welcoming @FLOTUS and @ SecCardona back to Connecticut this afternoon. We’ll be visiting a summer camp where I’ll show them how the state is using federal funds to help our kids learn and grow, even during the summer break.”

— Lamont’s social media post on Wednesday’s visit to Connecticut by First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, former head of the state Department of Education. 

“The Biden administration labeled concerned parents as domestic terrorists for asking questions about the policies of their children’s school system, and the First Lady is here to remind us that the government believes they are a partner in the decision making process concerning the education of every American family.”

— Email blast from state Republican Party Chairman Ben Proto.

“Ouch! Stronger CT reminds us that @bobforgovernor “…made millions running a payday loan company that charged working people up to 450% interest.” And say those rates are illegal in CT. @CTINDPARTY members should consider this at the caucus.”

— Social media post by Rob Hotaling, vying for the Independent Party nomination for Governor, on a pro-Lamont television ad by a Democratic Super Pac and why the party should back him and not Stefanowski at its caucus next month. 

“We know Ned Lamont is stuck on the same old tired policies and his friends at big money super PACs will say and do whatever they want to keep him in office.”

— Statement by Stefanowski’s spokeswoman, Liz Kurantowicz. 

“Bob Stefanowski was endorsed by Donald Trump. He’s supported by extremists who fought to overturn Roe. He even got an “A” rating from the NRA.” 

— Portion of a new television ad by incumbent Democratic Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz.  

“We’re the voice of the middle & working-class families — and they’re fed up & frustrated by their gov’t, controlled by Democrats, which doesn’t listen to them.”

— Social media post by Republican Lt. Gov. candidate and Stefanowski’s running mate Laura Devlin.

Steve Jensen

Steve Jensen was a journalist for 13 years with the Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer of Manchester before becoming a Communications Director for the State of Connecticut. Jensen covers politics and law enforcement for CT Examiner. T: 860 661-6404