On the Trail: Trump Looms Large in Senate Race Surprise, Endorsed Candidates for Secretary of the State and Treasurer Cruise to Victory


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With her full-throated endorsement by former President Donald Trump still ringing in their ears, Republican primary voters Tuesday chose pugnacious conservative Leora Levy over party-endorsed moderate Themis Klarides to try to wrest a U.S. Senate seat away from Democratic icon Richard Blumenthal. 

Nomination races for Secretary of the State and Treasurer were far less dramatic, as the endorsed candidates from both parties comfortably moved on to November’s general election. 

And while no official numbers are available, voter turnout appeared light and likely to total around the 15 to 20 percent mark predicted by party officials – or roughly 100,000 voters from each party.   

“Dick Blumenthal has been in office for over 40 years. He has had a major role in creating every single problem and challenge our country is facing today and he has been a rubber stamp for Joe Biden’s failed policies. Here in Connecticut, Dick Blumenthal IS Joe Biden.” 

— A portion of Levy’s acceptance speech, where she repeatedly thanked Trump “for having my back – and I will always have his” after she defeated former longtime State Representative and self-described social moderate Klarides by 51 to 40 percent.  

“They put their blood, sweat and tears into this race because they believed that we have a path to make Connecticut better, to give Connecticut representation that it has so sorely lost with Dick Blumenthal in office. I will always fight for what I believe in, always stand up for what is true.”

— Part of Klarides’ remarks paying tribute to her supporters after the vote. 

“This is a huge victory for President Trump in our state. The target remains Blumenthal and the failed liberal policies. Obviously, the endorsement by the President changed the political landscape in our state.

— Statement by Peter Lumaj, the third candidate in the race, who received about 9 percent of the vote. 

“Long gone are the days of the responsible Republicans in Connecticut – with Levy and Stefanowski leading the ticket, Trumpism has hijacked Connecticut’s Republican party, and the choice for voters the November could not be clearer– four years of anti-choice, pro-NRA, fiscal recklessness or four more years of responsible fiscal leadership, tax cuts built to last, and protecting women’s rights.”

— Statement from the Connecticut Democratic Party, linking Levy and Trump to Republican candidate for Governor Bob Stefanowski. 

Democratic nominee for Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas with Treasurer nominee Erick Russell, left, and endorsed Comptroller candidate Sean Scanlon, who did not face a primary challenge.

“I am grateful and honored to be chosen by Connecticut Democrats as their nominee for Secretary of the State, and eager to move on from deliberate misinformation and election denier narratives. I believe we must focus on the very real threat to our voting rights and our democracy. The challenges are unprecedented, and how we meet them will depend on who is elected this fall.” 

— Post-vote remarks from party-endorsed Democratic candidate for Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas after defeating contender Maritza Bond by 75 to 24 percent. 

“Political insiders like Stephanie Thomas won’t fix these problems – she pretends that they don’t even exist. Plainly stated, she is a fraud denier. Connecticut needs Republican leadership and Republican values now more than ever and I am committed to bringing those ideas to the state-wide ticket in November. This is the beginning of a red wave in Connecticut!”

— Statement by Dominic Rapini, the endorsed Republican candidate for Secretary of the State and a staunch believer in widespread fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, after defeating State Rep. Terrie Wood 58 to 41 percent. 

“This November, let’s send a resounding, undeniable message about what Connecticut stands for. Let’s talk to every voter and make the choice abundantly clear. Let’s score decisive victories that protect our rights and our values. Let’s make history.”

— Winning Democratic State Treasurer party-endorsed candidate Erick Russell’s post-vote remarks after securing the nomination with 57 percent of the vote over Dita Bhargava with 22 percent and Karen DuBois-Walton, who garnered 19 percent.

Russell will face Republican party-endorsed nominee Harry Arora, who was unchallenged in the primary. 

“We can do this in November. People in Connecticut deserve better Representatives, and I will do that for you.”

— Statement from Republican Jayme Stevenson, who will face incumbent Democrat Jim Himes for the 4th Congressional District U.S. Rep. seat, after defeating Michael Goldstein 60 to 39 percent.

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