Connecticut Republicans Emerge From Chaotic Convention More Divided Than Ever
Nasty, Expensive, and Wide-Open Primary Looms on the Horizon
Connecticut Republicans went into last weekend’s convention hoping to get some clarity in their nomination process, but after a historic 5 hour multi-ballot ordeal, the party emerged more divided than ever. The convention was “chaotic” and “circus-like” race to the right that hasn’t really sorted anything out. Here are some of the lowlights from the from the weekend:
- The only candidate who has been at all critical of President Trump got ousted from the race even before delegate voting began.
- Mark Boughton, the eventual endorsement winner, was spotted sporting his freshest Trump polo – a perfect metaphor for how the CT GOP has become the party of Trump this year.
- 2014 gubernatorial candidate John McKinney got involved in a “heated exchange” with Fairfield Chairman Jamie Millington for whipping delegates away from Dave Walker. Millington described McKinney as “angry,” which is very on-brand for a Tim “Put my cigar out in Mark Lauretti’s eye” Herbst supporter.
- Mark Lauretti got eliminated, but vowed to continue his campaign and petition his way onto the ballot, creating an even messier primary fight.
- After five hours of voting, Mark Boughton won the endorsement on the third ballot just barely eclipsing the threshold needed.
- Tim Herbst accused the convention delegates of “inside baseball” tactics and “horse-trading.”
- Ousted candidate Erin Stewart slammed the party for endorsing two white men at the top of the ticket. Says it’s “not the message that the Republican Party should be sending.”
- Judging by the message hanging around one delegate’s neck, not everyone was pleased with the outcome.
And after all that chaos, the field is still wide open. Mark Boughton, Tim Herbst and Steve Obsitnik all qualified for the ballot, but Bob Stefanowski, David Stemmerman, and Mark Lauretti have all vowed to petition onto the ballot. It sets up a nasty, crowded, and expensive race where candidates will have to stake out far-right positions to distinguish themselves with Republican primary voters.
“Connecticut Republicans came out of their convention divided and angry, foreshadowing the brutal primary race to come,”said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “It’s clear Republican voters are nowhere near satisfied with their field of candidates. Mark Boughton had to literally wear a Trump logo over his heart to convince enough delegates to vote for him. This race is about to get even more expensive, ugly, and Trumpy than it already has.”