Tong out of Senate race? Bysiewicz camp says yes


Just a little while ago state Rep. William Tong’s, D-Stamford campaign for his party’s U.S. Senate nomination announced a 12:30 press conference at Goodwin College in East Hartford.

Also in attendance? U.S. Rep. Chris Murphy, the frontrunner for the Senate nomination, Governor Dannel Malloy, Stamford’s former mayor, and Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman.

Conspicuously absent? Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, the other major Democratic candidate for Senate.

Her campaign manager, Jonathan Ducote, said the campaign understands Tong will drop out of the race and he and Malloy will endorse Murphy.

Ducote said Tong’s team did not appear at a recent practice for the Democratic nominating convention later this month.

Tong could not immediately be reached for comment this morning.

Tong was the first Asian American elected to the state legislature and his  candidacy is historic given the lack of Asian American representation in Washington D.C. For that reason he’s received some national media attention.

But he remains relatively unknown outside of his district, lags in the polls and has been unable to match Murphy and Bysiewicz in fundraising.

Also if he wanted to face Murphy in a primary Tong would either have to obtain at least 15 percent of the delegate vote at the convention or petition his way in. The former seems unlikely and the latter would tick off the very party leaders Tong needs to ensure he has a political career beyond 2012.

“It’s no surprise the party establishment would support the party insiders’ choice,” Ducote said of today’s event, adding Bysiewicz intends to compete against Murphy in the August primary.

“Susan will be there to ensure (voters) have a choice,” he said.

Brian Lockhart