Saturday, May 22, 2010

Reynolds rocky bid..

No winner on the first ballot for secretary of the state, so a second round is now under way, allowiong state Rep. Tom Reynolds, D-Ledyard, a bit more tine to round up a few extra votes in his bid for the state comptroller's race.

But Reynolds is running into a major brick wall -- labor.

The unions are not happy with Reynolds and they, too, are working the delegates inthe hopes of not just denying Reynolds the endorsement, but also blocking any chance of qualifying for a primary.

The comptroller's race is up right after the secretary of the state's count is completed.

And it goes on...

Geoerge Jepsen was noinated for attorney general by acclamation...the only Democrat in that race since Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz was ruled unqualified to hold the position by the state Supreme Court earlier this week.

The race for secretary of the state is now up in front of the delegates. The nominations are being made and the roll call vote to follow.

Then, it's the state Comptroller position to replace Wyman, and Ledyard Democratic state Rep. Tom Reynolds bid for that slot. It is expected that Reynolds will fall short of winning the convention endorsement. The question is, will he qualify for a primary -- and if so, will he force one?

And the winner is...

For lieutenant governor....Nancy Wyman, Dan Malloy's running mate.

As for Ned Lamont's chosen running mate, Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman...she did qualify for the primary.

Now for a little drama..

The roll call vote for lieutenant governor is now under way, and the question is...will Simsbury First Selectman Mary Glassman earn the 15 percent to qualify for a primary.

Glassman is Ned Lamont's running mate, and considering the overwhelming victory of Dan Malloy over Lamont -- better than 2 to 1 -- will delegates line up behind state Comptroller Nancy Wyman, Malloy's running mate, in such large numbers that Glassman doesn's get the votes to qualify.

Gubernatorial primary..

No surprise,Ned Lamont just told us that he will primary endorsed Democratic gubernatorial candidate an Malloy for the nomination. He was also quick to note that history shows that winning the endorsement is not a guarantee of a primary win.

That's true...

Foyur years ago, Malloy won the endorsement for governor and lost the primary to John DeStefano...

And, four years ago, U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman won the Democratic Party's endorsement...and then lost the primary to Lamont.

And the winner is...

Dan a huge margin....over 1,200 for Malloy and 580 for Lamont.

And the counting goes on...

The roll call vote of the state's 169 town is the gubernatorial race between Ned Lamont and Dan Malloy. The podium is just completing the tally of 2nd District towns.

Although way too early to say, it appears Malloy is running stronger at this point, especially in Eastern Connecticut. Norwich gave all of its 17 votes to Malloy, as did Voluntown with its two votes. Lamont, meanwhile picked up two votes to Malloy's one fron Woodstock.

State Rep. Mae Flexer, D-Killingly, delivered the main nominating speech placing Lamont's name in nomination.

The roll call has now moved into the 3rd Congressional District.

Gubernatorial nominations...

The nomination for governor is now getting underway...

Bysiewicz's future...

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz was the lead off speaker at the Democratic convention this morning, receiving a loud, standing ovation from delegates when she took to the podium.

She made a few jokes about her "tough week," first asking delegates how they're week was going, and then suggesting that she can now take the state Supreme Court Justices off her Christmas card list.

As for her own future, she repeated what she has said, that she intends on workinbg as hard as she can to elect Democrats this fall.

And....although she said nothing about it, it is highly expected that Bysiewicz's "early retirement" from public office will be short lived. It is anticipated Bysiewicz will early next year declare her canidacy for U.S. Senate seekinbg the seat now held by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., in 2012.

Simmons stays in...

Despite repeatedly saying he would drop of the Senate race if he failed to win the Republican convention endorsement, shortly after midnight Friday, the Simmons camp issued a press release saying he had decided to stay in and go for the primary challenge against endorsed GOP candidate Linda McMahon.

I ran into Rob and his wife Heidi this morning as they were checking out of the Marriott next to the Hartford Convention Center shortly before 8 a.m. and asked him what changed.
His response, "Let me get back to you on that."

And off they went in search of the car with Gung Ho license plates.

It's Saturday morning now, and we've changed locations and have moved over to the Hartford Expo Center for today's Democratic convention.

Friday, May 21, 2010

I find it interesting

The last time there was a contested race in the 2nd Congressional District Republiucan convention was in 1996 -- Ed Munster of East Haddam vs. Andy NOrton of colchester. Munster won the endorsement and the primary.

Friday night, Munster and Norton were players again. It was Munster who nominated Janet Peckinpaugh -- and Norton who seconded the nomination.

Peckinpaugh finsihed third, but got enough votes to qualify for the primary.

Meanwhile. we're still in the first round of voting in the U.S. Senate race. It's hard to say at this point who's ahead.

Peter Schiff is doing better than many thought, but it is clearly a head-to-head contest between Rob Simmons and Linda McMahon...and although McMahon appears to be ahead at the moment, Simmons is holding his own.

The 2nd District has't voted will be last....and it is expected to go heavily in in Simmons favor. But there is no clear indication at this point if opne round of voting will produce a winner...of if a second round will be necessary.

Breaking news...exclusive

Former State Rep. Lenny Winkler, R-Groton, will have her name submitted inb nomination for lieutenant governor at Saturday's session of the Republican state convention.

Winkler conformed for the Norwich Bulletin just moments ago that she has agreed to let her name be put in contention. She is the third Repunblican to seek the number tqo spot on the ticket, facing Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, Lt. Gov. ichael Fedsele's choicw as a running mate, and Lisa Wison-Foley.

Winkl;er also confirmed that gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley "encouraged" her to run for trhe office, but is not asking her to run as his running mate.

Eastern Connecticut now has two locals vying for state office, Winkler on the Republican ticket and Ledyard Democratic State Rep. Tom Reynolds vying for the Democratic nod in the state comptroller's race.

It's Novak in the 2nd

Daria Novak emerged as the winner of the 2nd Congressional district convention, winning the endorsement - but facing her two chief GOP rivals in an Aughust primary. Doug Dubitsky, who finished second, and Jane Peckinpaugh, third, qualified for the primary and both said, when asked if they would primary, "Absolutely."

THe action now turns to the main convention ballroom. We're in the process of the nomination speeches, which few appear to actually be listening to. Supporters of the candidate being nomninated are lisrtening -- everyone else is enbgage in roaming the roam and carrying on their own conversations withg friends.

At this point, the nominations have now ended...and ahortly, the vote in the Republican race for U.S. Senate will begin.

GOP Senate race vote delayed

Delegates to the 2nd Congressional District convention have yet to choose a nominee. Two rounds of ballotoing have not yet produced a winner, Daria Novak of Madison led both rounds. A third round will held shortly. Inthe meantime, the main event of the evening, the US Senate race, is being delayed until a final outcome in the 2nd District race. That should happen after the next round.

Meanwhile, update on the rumor of gubernatorial candidate Tomn Foley pursuing former state Rep. Lenny Winkler of Groton (not Ledyard)....Foley told me about an hour ago, there is no truth to that at all.

Convention time

I'm ver at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford as del3egates to the Republican 2nd District convention gather and begin the process of endorsing a candidate for this year's election. All four candidates and their suppoerts are here. We should know the results in abvout an hour and a half.

Meanwhiloe....the latest rumor is that gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley has had discussions with former state Rep. Lenny Winkler of Ledyard as a possible lt. gov. candidate with him. If so, that should be the surprise of tomorrow's GOP convention.

And as for the Bulletin's Dear Governor project in today's paper. Copies were personally handed to Foley, Oz Griuebel and Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele, with the suggestion that not only do theyread what the people of Connecticut want to tell them...but maybve go visit some of the folks and hear it for themselves.

MOre later after the votoing in the 2nd District ends...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Johnston vs. Williams in the 29th?

Republicans in the 29th State Senatorial District reportedly endorsed State Rep. Shawn Johnston, a Democrat from Thompson who earlier this month announced he would not seek re-election this year, as their candiate to challenge incumbent Senate President Pro Tem Don Williams, D-Brooklyn in this year's General Assembly elections.

No word yet on whether Johnston will accept the nomination.

If he does, it probably the most interesting and fascinating General Assembly race of the year.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday shakeups....

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy will announce later today that he has chosen State Comptroller Nancy Wyman has his running mate. A fascinating choice that certainly bolsters his candidacy for governor, but could also prove a plus for his rival, Democrat Ned Lamont. If there is a primary....and there appears that will happen, the gubernatorial and lieutenant governor candidates run independently of each other....which means that Wyman could end up as the liuetentant govenror candidate for whomever wins the match-up between Malloy and Lamont.

In either case, she is an asset to the ticket come November....

On another front, Janet Peckenpaugh makes it official today with a tour of the 2nd Distrcit announcing her entrance into the Republican contest to challenger Democratic incumbent Congressman Joe Courtney (unanimously endorsed for re-election at last night's convention in Colchester.

And speaking of last night's convention....there was little intrigue within the auditorium, but lots of politicking going on outside in the hallway....

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday things...

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dan Malloy has scheduled apress conference for tomorrow to make a "major announcement" regarding his campaign. Sounds like he's made his choice for a running mate and will announce that decision....

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney will be annointed by Democratis for another term at tonight's Democratric 2nd District convention in Colchester...he faces no Democratic chalenge, but lots of challengers from the GOP, Green and Libertarian parties.

And Janet Peckinpaugh's arrival into the 2nd District race as one of those GOP challengers is not being well-received -- by the two GOP candidates who have been in the race the longest, Matt Daly and Daira Novak. . They're not fact, Daly issued a press release claiming her arrival to the contest was nothing but a cheap ploy by Courtney and Democrats to distract Republicans and thus ensure Courtney's re-election.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The 2nd District race....

Despite three Republican challengers, a Green party candidate (Scott Deshefy) and a Libertarian (Dan Reale), in the hunt to challenge two-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, Eastern Connecticut's congressional race this year has been least up until now.

The arrival of Connecticut former TV anchor Janet Peckipaugh — a recent Republican — into the fray has sudden elevated the contest to the level of "interest." Even the Republican National Congressional Committee — noticeably and uncharacteristically quiet these past few months — has arisen from its winter hibernation with a new awareness that maybe something might finally be happending in what has traditionally been a targeted race. (Neither the Republicans or Democrats have the 2nd District listed as a targeted race this year -- the first time in more than two decades It was initially listed as a targeted race in 2008, but fell off the list in the summer months leading up to November.)

The national committee came out with a nifty "spin" on her recent conversion to Republican circles by noting that when Rob Simmons held the seat he was considered the top Republican representing the most Democratic congressional district in the U.S. They credited his appeal among independents for his success, and they now note that Peckinpaugh appears to have those same traits that will likely appeal to the independently-thinking 2nd District voters.

Just what kind of long-range impact Peckinpaugh's candidacy will have on the race is unclear. But what she does bring to the contest immediately is name recognition -- something that has been woefully lacking thus far. And she brings some excitement, at least initially, that's also been lacking -- especially from the GOP side.

Neither Matt Daly nor Daria Novak have energized the GOP base -- the main reason why GOP members went searching out Peckinpaugh in the first place, and the national committee went into hibernation. After more than a year in the race, both still suffer a lack of name recognition, as does the third GOP challenger Doug Dubitsky, who only recently jumped into the contest himself after seeing and sensing a void.

How this plays out at the May 21 state convention when the party regulars vote for a nominee should prove more than just interesting.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Bysiewicz follow up...

As noted yesterday, a Superior Court judge has ruled that Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz does meet the state requirment of having 10 years of active legal practice to qualify her to run for the dffice of attorney general. Republican State Party Chairman Chris Healy, although disappointed -- a mil way of saying that -- said he has not yet decided to appeal.

So., this point, the legal question has been answered, it's time to move on. Democratic delegates to the state convention will now decide whether they wish to have Bysiewicz as their endorsed candidate, a primary will determine the eventual party nominee...and voters wil ultimately decide who will be attorney general.

Personally, there are other questions that I think still need to be answered.

1. Why did she drop out of the governor's race? I understand Tom Foley dropping out of the Senate race to run for governor -- he was a distant third in the polls and being outspent. But Bysiewicz was leading in he polls, and I'm not convinced at this point that the attorney general's position is really that more attractive than being why?

2. Why pledge to abide by the state's public financing rules while running for governor, and then suddenly switch and declare you won't participate in the public financing program while making a run for attorney general? There are millionaires running for governor....none running for attorney general. Why the switch?

Personally, I find these questions to be more important than the legal question. But that's just me.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Peckinpaugh is in the race

Former Connecticut TV news reporter Janet Peckinpaugh filed papers this week with the Federal Elections Commimssion and will seek the Republican nomination for Congress in Connecticut's 2nd Congressional District -- challenging U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney.

Peckingpaugh is now the third Republican in the contest -- that also features a Green and Libertarian candidate -- and the most well known among the GOP field.

Suddenly....this race just got interesting.

Her formal announcement of her candidacy comes next week.

Bysiewicz wins....

A superior court judge has ruled that Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz does meet the state requirement of 10-years of "active" legal practice to qualify to run for Attorney General. The judge did not rule on the second part of her complaint that the law requiring the 10 yers is unconstitutional.

Bysiewciz now gets to advance to the state convention on May 21-22 in her battle to win the party's nomination. Delegates will now decide if she's qualified. to run as the party's nominee, and votrers ultimately if she is elected.

And whether the issue is finally put to rest depends upon whther today's court ruling is appealed. Stay tuned.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The first Monday of May...

A decision on the Susan Bysiewicz eligiblity hearing is expected to be issued this week. Where we go from there depends on what the ruling is...and who might appeal it.

It's the Lamont/Glassman ticket. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont tapped former Democratic Lt. Gov. candidate Mary Glassman as his running mate, the first of the many gubernatorial candidates (Democrats and Republicans) to announce a pairing. Not a bad choice...the only woman in the race and someone who has proven to be a good vote getter.

Democratic rival Dan Malloy announced over the weekend he has reached the benchmark to qualify for public financing for his gubernatorial bid, opning up the possibility of close to $8 million — $1.5 million immedidately after the convention, another $3 million after the August primary -- and more if any opponent not participating starts to outspend him. But the bigger problem is....will there be any money for Malloy?

The state's public financing law is still unde a cloud awaiting a court decision on its constiutionality, and inthe meantime, Democrats and Republicans in Hartford have slowly been robbing the fund to pay off the state's debt. Malloy could find himself the first-ever candiate to qualify for public financing -- and get nothing out of it except that distinction of being the first to...

On the Republican side, the McMahon campaign announced yet another defection of a former Rob Simmons supporter to her camp. That's three in the last week....and just less than three weeks to go before the convention.