Cheshire's Elizabeth Esty upsets Chris Donovan to Win Dem. Primary

Several news organization report Speaker of the House Chris Donovan has conceded to former state Rep. Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire.

UPDATE 9:45 p.m.:

The Associated Press and the Hartford Courant have reported that Cheshire's Elizabeth Esty has won the Democratic primary against Speaker of the House Chris Donovan and Dan Roberti of Kent. Esty also took Cheshire's Democratic primary with 1,187 votes to Donovan's 265 and Roberti's 192 votes.

Statewide, Esty won with a 43% to 34% margin (as of 10 p.m.) over the embattled Chris Donovan, once considered the strong frontrunner before a campaign-finance scandal involving several members of his staff, and dark-horse Dan Roberti (23%).

In a speech before a swarm of supporters in Meriden, Donovan announced he will not be the party's nominee in November. Donovan refused to comment as he walked around the Augusta Curtis Center thanking his supporters.

A statement from EMILY's List congratulated Esty on her primary win: 

“Elizabeth is a dedicated public servant with a proven track record of fighting for Connecticut women and families by expanding access to healthcare and economic opportunity,” said Stephanie Schriock, President of EMILY’s List. “By nominating Elizabeth tonight, Connecticut voters showed they’re ready to send a progressive leader to Washington who will hold the right wing accountable, fight partisan gridlock, and get the results we need to move our country forward.”

In other races:

As expected, Republican Linda McMahon and Democrat Chris Murphy will face off in November for the right to succeed Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate.

With 77% of the precincts reporting at 10 p.m., McMahon was soundly defeating former U.S. Rep. Christopher Shays with 76% of the vote. Meanwhile, Murphy cruised by Bysiewicz, the Middletown native and former Secretary of the State, by a comfortable 66% to 34% margin.

In the Second Congressional District, East Lyme restaurateur Paul Formica was running away with the Republican primary over Madison’s Daria Novak by about a 2-to-1 ratio, as of 9 p.m. and was declared the winner. 

UPDATE 7:00 p.m.

Despite the months-long effort of nearly a dozen candidates to get out the primary vote, the turnout in Cheshire for the U.S. Senate and Congressional races be about 20 percent, far lower than predicted state average of 30 percent.

Facing her first primary, Democratic 5th District candidate Elizabeth Esty of Cheshire cast her vote Tuesday morning at Cheshire High School. She had already been to Danbury, Waterbury and Newtown by 11 a.m. "I saw the sunrise in Waterbury," Esty said. She was elected without a primary in 2008 to represent Cheshire in the 103rd State House District.

As Esty finished voting, GOP 5th District candidate Mark Greenberg of Litchfield stood outside the high school to visit with supporters from Cheshire. On hand was local Republican Town Committee Vice Chairman Thomas Pinkham. Wearing a Greenberg campaign shirt, Pinkham said the low voter turnout would help Greenberg. "The calls show a groundswell of momentum," for Greenberg, he said.

Members of the Cheshire Young Democrats club at the high school stood nearby holding signs for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Murphy of Cheshire. Club President Andrew Carroll said they volunteered to come out to support the local candidate. 

Democratic Registrar of Voters Aleta Looker said 175 residents requested absentee ballots, about twice ans many as had been expected. She had thought the turnout would be good because the town has two local candidates on the ballot. "A lot of effort was put out by everybody," she said. 

However, Republican Registrar of Voters Susan Pappas said the voter turnout would probably be less than her office would like. "Because it's summer and because people are tired of thinking about it," she said.

Leslie Hutchison August 15, 2012 at 03:29 AM
Murphy plans to issue a "challenge" to Linda McMahon tomorrow morning. We'll report what he'll have to say.


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